When 5 year-old London Allen was at Monroe Avenue Elementary School in Hamlet on Jan. 18, she had no idea her mother had come back from Afghanistan and was planning on surprising her at school.
That is exactly what happened when United States Army Specialist Jasmine Allen showed up at the school while her daughter was eating lunch.
“I was shocked at how tall she had grown to be,” Allen said.
Allen said she was nervous, excited and tearful when she saw her daughter, after being deployed for almost one year.
Allen, 22-years-old, joined the U.S. Army in 2010 where she became an Information Technology Specialist.
According to the Army website, information technology specialists are responsible for maintaining, processing and troubleshooting military computer systems/operations.
Allen left her home in Charlotte on April 2, 2012, to travel to Texas. In Texas, she worked on battle field training and communications training. Allen said she worked on making sure all of the equipment she would be using in Afghanistan was functional.
She left Texas on May 15 and arrived in Afghanistan on May 18 where she stayed until she came back to Texas on Jan. 2.
Allen got back to Charlotte a couple of days before Jan. 18, but she didn’t want any of her family to know she was back in the country because she wanted to surprise her daughter. Not wanting London to miss any days of school, Allen patiently waited until Friday to see her daughter.
“She was surprised and shocked,” Allen said. She said that when her daughter spotted her in the doorway of the school cafeteria, she began shouting with joy.
This is Allen’s first time being deployed and the first time she has been away from her daughter for an extended period of time.
The homecoming was also attended by Allen’s grandmother, Beulah Stevenson, Allen’s friend, Ashley Downing, and Allen’s cousin, Ania Covington, who is also a student at Monroe Avenue.
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.