A Clarksville soldier who came home early from his nine-month deployment to Afghanistan planned a special surprise his family will never forget.
Sgt. First Class Richard Willis arrived home Saturday - instead of his scheduled arrival Tuesday - but he and his wife decided to wait and surprise their teenage daughter with the good news during her school choir performance Monday at West Creek High School.
Willis said their daughter was staying at a friend's house over the weekend, so the only time his secret was in jeopardy was when she unexpectedly came home for about an hour.
He had to quickly find a hiding place.
"I decided to stay in the bathroom, crossing my fingers that she wouldn't come in," Willis said.
"I told him, 'Do not move your feet. You sit on that commode, and do not move a muscle,' because our room is right above the living room. She would have know right away that somebody else was in the house," said wife Gwen Willis.
The wait was well worth it, though, as daughter Madison Willis said she was completely surprised. The show stopped and the audience stood to applaud as father and daughter embraced in the auditorium.
Sgt. Willis said this was his final deployment because of some injuries he suffered.
He is expected to be home for good.
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