When Jayden Moree, 6, sat down with his class in the Saylor Elementary School library, he thought he was in store for a regular story time. He had no idea that his dad, Trevor Moree, was hiding behind the bookcase to surprise him after being deployed in Japan for 9 months.
When Principal John Zack announced a special guest story teller, Jayden Moore’s jaw dropped as his dad sat down in front of the class. He jumped up, arms outstretched, and sprinted into his father’s arms.
“Just to be here and share the moment with him is probably one of the best things in my life right now,” Trevor Moree said.
Trevor Moree has served in the military for 11 years and is a U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant.
A week prior, Jessica Moree, his wife, made plans with Trevor to surprise their kids. He arrived at O’Hare Airport on Sunday and “hid out” at a relatives’ house for the night so he could surprise his son at school. His wife brought their other two children, Kaison, 4, and Kynsleigh, 3, to the school to join in on the surprise.
“Nobody knew until this morning,” Trevor Moree said. “They came in, I saw the youngest two before I came in here. And they were surprised, and they were like, ‘We thought you weren’t coming home for Christmas!’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I surprised you, now we have to surprise Jayden.’ So, I hid in the back until they introduced me. Nobody knew- I told them last night that I was still in Hawaii and I wasn’t going to be able to make it.”
Jessica Moree was overjoyed to see the kids’ excitement at being completely taken by surprise by their dad.
“It was very heartfelt, very warming,” she said. “Trevor has missed Jayden’s first of everything, so we wanted to make this a big thing for him.”
Trevor Moree’s duties to his country have taken him far from his family several times, sometimes missing big family moments. Jessica Moree said they Skyped the birth of their middle child, Kaison, when her husband was abroad.
“I remember the first time I left Jayden was probably 10 months old,” Trevor Moree said. “I headed out for Afghanistan and then I came back. I missed his first birthday, I missed his first day of school because I was doing my job at training events or deployments that I had to do. And it caused me to miss most of everything. But, I’m here now, so I’m pretty excited about that.”
Instead of Facetiming twice a day, the family will be together building new traditions, making puzzles and hopefully enjoying some winter fun.
“We’re hoping for a white Christmas,” Jessica Moree said. “Jayden’s never built a snow man before, or done any of that. We come from North Carolina, we’ve never been where it’s snowed heavy.”
Trevor Moree is home for 12 days before he has to leave for Hawaii and take on another 9 months stationed in Okinawa, Japan. He plans to make the most of every minute he has home.
“I’m just looking forward to quality time with family, doing whatever the kids want to do, I’m up for anything,” Trevor Moree said.
A sincere thank you to Trevor Moree and his family for their service and sacrifice!