WATCH: Schuylkill County mother surprises daughter with military homecoming


SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A surprise military homecoming that has been close to one year in the making has been met by many roadblocks this week but finally ended in hugs and happy tears.

Taryn Harris has served our country for the last 17 years in the Pennsylvania National Guard. She recently toured the middle east in Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherit Resolve.

After being stationed in Kuwait and Iraq while serving in the United States Army, Harris wanted to do something special for her 6th grade daughter Madelyn as a surprise homecoming at her school in Schuylkill County. Due to unforeseen events, the surprise was canceled.

So, Harris enlisted the help of PA Live‘s Chris Bohinski to come up with another way to surprise her daughter.

At first, Chris asked Maddy to keep busy by writing a card out to her mom. Knowing he needed to get outside and bring her in, Chris came up with a plan.

“I need to run and get that battery,” Chris told Maddy.

You guessed it, that battery was mom Taryn Harris.

“Surprise! Hi sweetie,” Harris said as she surprised Maddy.

After a hug with Grandma Linda, there was only one thing on Maddy’s mind now that her mom was home.

“I have my softballs and my bats,” she said.

The pandemic canceled Maddy’s inaugural softball season shortly after she fell victim to the COVID-19 virus.

“I was away from her in 12 years for so long. And to not be there as mom and take care of your kid, is really, really tough,” Harris said.

With the weather getting nicer, mom and daughter say their spring and summer will be filled with a trip to Knoebels, many dinners at Olive Garden and a lot of practice on the field.

If you know a military kid, who enjoys sports, you can help provide a solution to the emotional strain associated with family separation. Operation Teammate makes military kids into honorary teammates-for-the-day with various professional sporting teams.

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