Army mom surprises kids in heartwarming return from Iraq

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – A Chesterfield mother and U.S. Army Colonel gave her daughters the surprise of a lifetime Thursday after returning home from deployment overseas.

Col. Beth Prekker just returned home from a year-long deployment in Iraq where has been working with coalition forces.

Prekker's daughters, Cosby High sophomore Caroline, and Lindsay, who now goes to Old Dominion University, had no clue she was coming home so soon.

"The thought didn't even cross my mind," said Lindsay.

The girls were under the impression that their mother would not be returning from deployment until Jan. 30.

The surprise reunion happened Thursday morning at Cosby High School. Beth's husband and the girls' dad Rick, who is retired from the Army, was in on the surprise.

Oldest daughter Lindsay thought she was at her former school to talk about applying to college and the application process.

During the presentation, there was a special video chat set up to talk with Col. Prekker. That's when the girl's mother and their father entered the room.

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Mom surprises daughters at school after year-long deployment in Iraq
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Mom surprises daughters at school after year-long deployment in Iraq
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The girls ran up to their mom and embraced during the emotional reunion.

"I've got so much adrenaline going I'm shaking," said Col. Prekker. "It's just so good to be home... I've missed them a lot."

"I was just really excited to see her," said Caroline, holding her mother's hand.

Col. Prekker described the reunion that's been a year in the making.

"Amazing... To be able to hold on to someone that I love so dearly. I've miss that so much," she said.

"I knew that my dad was supposed to be here so I was keeping an eye out for him," said Lindsay. "I looked out the corner of my eye and saw him... I didn't even register she was there."

The Pekker family is no stranger to surprise reunions as this is the fifth deployment homecoming between Beth and Rick over the last several years.

"It doesn't matter how many times you do this, it's always new," added Rick.

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