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Surprise! Deployed Army dad returns home to surprise daughters

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Before the Lady Knights took the court Monday night, Kaleigh Timmons had a special prayer request.

Amanda Simmons/Press-Tribune | Kaleigh Timmons (left) and Bella (right) hug their dad, Shawn Bault, after he surprised them by returning home from deployment Monday night.
Amanda Simmons/Press-Tribune | Kaleigh Timmons (left) and Bella (right) hug their dad, Shawn Bault, after he surprised them by returning home from deployment Monday night.

She stood at half court and asked the crowd at Providence Classical Academy to say a prayer for the men and women deployed overseas and for their families back home, including her own. It was an emotional moment that brought tears to the eyes of those who watched and listened.

As she wiped the tears away, the double doors opened….her daddy was home. Shawn Bault, an officer with the U.S. Army, walked through the doors and greeted his daughters, Kaleigh, 10, and Bella, 3, with open arms. It was the first time he hugged and kissed them in more than a year.

Belinda Bault said it was an emotional moment that she will never forget. It has also been the hardest secret she’s ever had to keep.

While Shawn was deployed in Africa, Belinda and her daughters didn’t have many chances to communicate with him. They would FaceTime occasionally, but only when he had enough signal, Belinda said.

Then she heard he was coming home and plans for his homecoming took shape. With help from the faculty and staff at PCA along with their closest family and friends, they arranged the unforgettable surprise.

As he sat in the stands, Shawn held his family tight and cheered for Kaleigh as she played in her first home basketball game of the season. He said he’s simply blessed and happy to be home safe.