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Airman returns home, surprises wife at school

The school's media specialist, Rachel Vanegelhoven, was re-united with her husband in front of the entire school.

Posted: Jan 30, 2018 10:40 PM
Updated: Jan 31, 2018 8:02 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - A heart warming reunion took place at Lafayette Meadows Elementary Tuesday afternoon.

The school's media specialist, Rachel Vanegelhoven, was re-united with her husband in front of the entire school. TSgt. Jesse Vanengelenhoven served six months in south Asia.

"I was shocked. I'm shaking. It was a complete surprise," said Rachel.

The Vanengelenhovens were re-united during a school assembly about kindness. Jesse entered the assembly as Sparty the Spartan, Homestead High School's mascot, to demonstrate ways to be kind. When it came time to be kind to Rachel, he gave her a hug then took off the mask.

"When he dabbed, I thought, 'that's something Jesse would do,' but I didn't really think he was really in there," said Rachel.

The couple has been married for just over a year, and are ready to be back together.

"The feeling of finally seeing him again--it's been so long," said Rachel. "It could've been longer. I know some people deploy for years so six months really isn't as long as some people have to deal with, but it's a long time for me."

"[I'm looking forward to] just being back with family and friends getting back to normalcy," says Jesse. "With all the hustle and bustle going on, I'm ready to get back."

Jesse said he also missed the food while he was away.

"[I missed] bacon. I will tell you that for sure, because we didn't have pork over there--definitely bacon," says Jesse.

He will take a month off before going back to work at Grissom Air Reserve base in southern Indiana.

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