Most people have seen those heart warming videos online of soldiers surprising their loved ones. This week, one Athens mom experienced a moment she’ll never forget and it was all caught on camera.
What started out as an ordinary day at Central Athens Elementary, was not quite so ordinary for one Ms. Lottie Cofer, the custodian.
“My second deployment, I was stationed in North Carolina at Fort Bragg, so I didn’t get a chance to come back to Texas. So, now I’m stationed in Fort Hood, Texas, so now that was like the perfect opportunity to go ahead and surprise her,” said Army Sergeant Tacameo Barker.
Sergeant Barker’s mother, Ms. Lottie has worked for Athens ISD for 19 years.
The school’s counselor was part of the team that hatched the surprise.
“It was a cold, dreary day and she said when I asked her how she was doing, she said I’m making it and I thought it’s going to be really good in a little while,” said Amy Wood. “You’re going to get a good surprise!”
And a good surprise is exactly what Ms. Lottie got.
“He tapped me on my shoulder, said mama, and I said ‘ah’ and hit the floor, and got back up and hugged him,” said Ms. Lottie.
For the past seven months, Sergeant Barker has been deployed in South Korea. He says he wanted to show his mom just how much he loves her, because she’s done so much for him over the years, becoming a widow with three children when he was just 3-years-old.
“After watching all the surprise videos, I was honestly expecting just some tears, but nah, I got a little more than some tears,” laughed Sergeant Barker.
And for right now, he is just enjoying time with family, but Ms. Lottie has high hopes now that he is close to home.
“To be a grandmama,” she exclaimed.
Sergeant Barker says that may just be in the cards, but in the meantime, he’s going to spend as much time with family as his can, and like a true Texan, eat as much Whataburger as his stomach will allow.