Amy Thomman believed her family was the subject of a story involving her daughter when they posed for a photo in the gymnasium at Stephen F. Austin Middle School in Bryan, Texas.
Instead, the story had a much deeper impact for the Thommans, who saw an unexpected guest in the background of the photo taken on Thursday, September 22.
US Army Chief Warrant Officer Ross Thomman, who had been deployed to Iraq and Kuwait since January, surprised his family by photobombing the photo. It wasn’t until his wife and two children looked at the picture in the camera that they realized he had returned.
The family quickly turned to see their smiling husband and father holding an “I’m home” sign.
“It was everything I imagined,” Ross Thomman told The Eagle newspaper of the surprise. “It was priceless.”
Amy Thomman, principal of Johnson Elementary School in Bryan, thought the photo was for a story about her daughter, Samantha, playing on the school’s volleyball team. She said she had ‘no words’ to describe her emotions as she turned to see her husband.
The surprise was hard to handle for Samantha, who then played her volleyball match with her father in the stands.
“He didn’t feel like he was there. I was shaking,” the girl told KBTX.
The army soldier said he had been in the service for 18 years. He told his family he wouldn’t be home until next week, setting things up for the heartwarming surprise, KBTX reported.
“I’ve missed so much, and I’m so happy and grateful to be back and safe and ready to reconnect with my family and get back to work, to life,” the father told The Eagle.
This story was originally published September 23, 2022 10:30 a.m.