CONYERS, Ga. — Grab the tissues.
An Army specialist had a special military homecoming at a Rockdale County high school Wednesday.
Spc. Ameniah Hodge, who has been deployed overseas for nine months, returned home and surprised her father and two brothers at Heritage High School in Conyers.
Hodge’s father works at the school and both brothers are still in school there and members of the junior ROTC.
During a special event featuring the JROTC, Hodge slipped into the ranks and blended in with the rest of the troops until it was time for the surprise.
A school official called her father to center stage, and it was all he could do to hold in his tears when his daughter turned around.
"I have no words," Henry Hodge Jr. told Channel 2's Berndt Petersen. "I don't know what to say. I'm just excited to see her."
Her brothers weren’t far behind – rushing out of their formation to see their big sister.
“The kind of stuff she does, putting her life on the line, going through basic training -- I'm very proud of my sister,” Henry Hodge III said.
“I missed her a lot,” Isaiah Hodge said.
Ameniah Hodge’s mother, Candice, has kept the surprise quiet for two months.
“We’ve known she was coming home since January,” Candice Hodge said.
Ameniah Hodge will be home for two weeks and is looking forward to spending time with her family.
“I've been waiting for this moment since I got to Europe. I feel great! I feel happy to be home with my family,” she said.
© 2020 Cox Media Group