Reunited after almost two years...
Commonwealth Journal article:
BY CARLA SLAVEY
What started as
Alyson Simpson’s demonstration to her classmates on what to do during a
tornado ended with the girl being swept up and twirled around for a
the Burnside Elementary fourth grader was called to the front during an
Friday afternoon assembly, she didn’t know the real reason she was
being singled out.
She was about to be reunited with an uncle she hadn’t seen for a long time.
Matthew Chaney of the United States Army has been stationed in Alaska, and has not been home in a year and eight months.
the distance, Simpson is still emotionally close to her uncle. Still,
the girl didn’t know that Chaney was going to be surprising her by
showing up during an assembly in the school’s gym.
principal April Mounce asked for a volunteer to show everyone the
correct way to hide under a table during a storm, Mounce chose Simpson
to come to the front. While Simpson was distracted, Chaney was brought
into the gym.
The girl said it took about one second to recognize her uncle before she ran to give him a hug.
for his part, was surprised by the show of support from the school.
After the reunion, Mounce asked the students what they did when they met
someone in the military. The entire audience responded by saying,
pulled the wool over my eyes,” Chaney said. When he was asked to go to
the school, he said he had expected to reunite with his niece in the
principal’s office, not be asked to walk out in front of all the