Soldier surprises his children at Groveton school assembly

GROVETON, TX (KTRE) - Three Groveton children got the ultimate surprise when their father, who has been serving in Afghanistan for the past year as a part of the US Army, surprised them during a school assembly Friday.

"I think they will be shocked," E4 Jeffrey Dooley said. " I don't think I will cry."

The children, Raelynn Dooley, Makayla Dooley and Jonathan Dortch, thought they were at an assembly to learn about the Trinity County K-9 unit. Instead, their father, Dooley, walked out and surprised them.

"I can't even explain it," Johnathan Dortch said. "[It's] exciting!"
"It's really exciting because I missed my daddy," Makayla Dooley said.

the assembly was put together after the Groveton elementary school principal wanted to do something special for Dooley's youngest daughter.

"I cried and I missed him," Raelynn Dooley said.

Deputy Justin Sikes picked the children out of the audience to serve as volunteers. He then said he had to go to the back and get "one more piece of equipment" and returned with their father.

Third-grader Jonathan was the first to see him and ran into Dooley's arms before his pre-K and first-grade sisters followed.

Dooley wasn't even sure if he would be able to get to Groveton from Fort Hood in time to surprise his children, but once he was in town, the school acted quickly to go beyond what he had planned.

"I wasn't expecting it at all," Dooley said. "I just thought I was going to surprise the kids in each individual class and just take them home and spend time and it just went real big. "

Dooley was actually able to surprise his two year old son Thursday night before he even saw his other three children.

Dooley was part of the 1710 transportation company out of the Virginia National guard. Dooley said that he is home for good and is not scheduled to go back to Afghanistan.

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