marco

Their faces tell the whole story.

Three of Army Capt. Marco Andrade’s children were reunited with their dad in a surprise reunion

Xiomara Andrade, mother of Marco Jr., Amaia, and Yen, told the kids their dad was going to return from his third tour of duty in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving Day.

But Andrade, a signal officer, and 339 other Fort Carson soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team actually got back to Colorado Springs on November 15th.

The following morning, students at Springs Ranch Elementary School were in the gym, expecting to hear a presentation from a meteorologist about the weather. But the meteorologist turned out to be Capt. Andrade.

Principal Jim Kyner asked if everyone remembered why they wore red, white and blue last Friday. They dressed patriotically to honor those who have served in the military. A sign hanging from last week’s Veterans Day celebration reminded the students to “Pause for a moment and recognize those who sacrificed for us.”

When Kyner asked how many students have family members in the military, lots of hands went up. He then called for three volunteers to help him, and Marco Jr., Amaia and Yen were chosen.

When the Andrade kids got to the front of the gym, their dad appeared behind them.

Capt. Andrade also planned to pick up his 16-year-old from nearby Sand Creek High School and enjoy the day with his family.

Marco Jr. said he was going to put aside technology and play with his dad. Amaia was going to bring out her collection of 30 dolls for their special time.

Yen, a kindergartner, couldn’t stop smiling.

It’s the first time the school has done a surprise homecoming. About one-quarter of the 560 students have a military connection, Kyner said.

“It’s a unique opportunity to show we support military families,” he said.