Woodland student surprised by uncle on leave from Army during Veterans Day ceremony 


An eighth grade student at Woodland Middle School was surprised by her uncle who she hadn’t seen in nearly three years at a Veterans Day assembly.

Abigail Alway initially thought she was called up to the podium in order to be recognized for a solo she performed during the assembly, but then her uncle, U.S. Army Sergeant Edward Marcus Mayer II, walked through the door. 

Mayer, who helped raise Alway throughout most of her childhood, had just returned home on temporary leave after nearly three years on duty.

Woodland Middle School Principal Russell Evans worked with Alway’s mom, Christina Hughart, to organize the surprise homecoming that took place at the end of the school’s Veterans Day assembly on Thursday, Nov. 10. Alway had no idea Mayer was home on leave before the assembly.

“We were deeply honored to help Christina surprise her daughter in such a fitting way on this special holiday,” stated Evans in a news release. “We organized the assembly so we could invite Abi up at the end and surprise her with her uncle.”

Hughart posted a video of the reunion along with a thank you message to the school on Facebook.

“Woodland Middle School was absolutely amazing and my family thanks you immensely. We were able to keep it a complete surprise,” Hughart wrote. “The school helped coordinate surprising her in front of the whole school.”


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