CLINTON, Miss. (WLBT) - It was a happy homecoming for Lt. Col. Andy Thaggard, who surprised his kids Friday night before their marching band performance at Clinton High School.
Thaggard has been serving for 31 years and has only been around his son Joseph and daughter Elizabeth 5 days total since October 1, 2018.
His most recent deployment was Thanksgiving of last year.
Though he is happy to be home, Thaggard said the hardest part of this homecoming will be integrating back into civilian life; “they are not the people that I left. I’m not the person that left. So we have to learn each other, we have to learn what are roles are, what we do and how do we grow from here. Cause our jobs, as parents, is to help these guys and enable them to be successful in life."
Jenny, Thaggard’s wife, was also there for the happy reunion. Before the band went out on the field, Thaggard spoke to the other band students about suicide prevention and mental health in light of National Suicide Prevention Month.