Mission accomplished: Sgt. surprises son at UT meeting - FOX 13 News

Mission accomplished: Sgt. surprises son at UT meeting

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

It was an emotional evening Wednesday for the family of an Air Force sergeant, who surprised his son during a fraternity meeting at the University of Tampa.

Tech Sgt. Troy Harvey and his wife, Becky, waited in the hallway of Austin Hall while their son, Ryan, received a fraternity award. He had no idea what was about to happen.

"Are you going to cry?" Becky asked.

"Probably," her husband responded, admitting he was more nervous for the surprise reunion than during his last deployment to Afghanistan.

As Sgt. Harvey snuck into the room, the shock on Ryan's face was obvious, and then the room burst into applause. They shared an emotional embrace between father and son.

"I wasn't expecting him to be here at all. I was just happy," Ryan said afterward.

"You see a lot of the homecomings, so just to feel the reality of it, it's amazing," Sgt. Harvey added.

Ryan hadn't seen his father since November, when he was sent overseas for his latest deployment.

"This one was really hard for him," said Becky Harvey, who came up with the plan. "When I saw [Ryan] at Christmas time and it was Christmas morning and he comes downstairs to open presents and he was just sad, and it broke my heart to see him missing his dad that much."

If the big surprise wasn't enough, Sgt. Harvey brought his son another one: an American flag from his time overseas.

"I had a flag flown for Ryan on a mission," the 26-year Air Force veteran told the room full of college students.

Ryan was so emotional he had little to say after the homecoming.

"I'm glad he's back," he said.

"[I'm ready to] just catch up on some lost time," his dad said.

Sgt. Harvey is hoping this last deployment is his final one; he's hoping to retire in 18 months.

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