On June 27, Jeremy Forbes, a soldier with the Georgia Army National Guard, provided the surprise of a lifetime to his family. After being deployed in Eastern Afghanistan for six months, he stood at the Indian seats on top of Sawnee Mountain, waiting to see their excited faces.
As his family came up the trail June 27, Forbes came out from his hiding spot behind a rock. His sons, Gabriel, 9, and Isaiah, 5, immediately started running toward their father in excitement.
“I went up about 30 minutes ahead of when my family got there. The boys came up and saw me. I was hiding behind a rock and I stepped out. I was like ‘hey boys!’ They came running at me, the music came up, and it was awesome,” Forbes said.
Forbes had come up with the idea to pull this surprise while on his way home and got his inspiration from the homecoming videos that are posted on YouTube and social media. Sawnee Mountain is a favorite spot for the family to visit, so Forbes decided to do it there. After that, everything came into place. With the help of his wife, Heather, they were able to successfully astonish their sons.
“When I’m home me and my boys love to walk the Sawnee Mountain trail,” Forbes said. “It’s one of our favorite things to do, to climb the mountain and go up to the Indian seats. I was thinking of going up there; it would be a great memory.”
The reunion was a sweet one for the family, and the sons were especially happy to see their father after six months. While this was Forbes’ second deployment to Afghanistan, this was his first one with kids. Not seeing each other for six months was hard on the father and sons because of their close relationship.
“It actually made it a lot harder [being deployed with kids], because my boys are both daddy’s boys,” Forbes said. “We video-chat every few days or so and they ask when I’m coming home. To see them cry a few times, it hurt. It was amazing [seeing them again]. It was like holding them for the first time.”
Forbes is spending as much time as he can with his family before they have to start school in the fall. The memory of the surprise arrival on Indian seats will stay with the family forever.
“It [Forbes’ surprise for the boys] was nothing less of awesome,” Heather Forbes said. “Seeing him with the boys for the first time, nothing is greater than that.”
- By Alyssa Freyman for the Forsyth County News