Soldier Surprises Sibling with Military Homecoming

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ROXBURY, NJ (December 20, 2019) – Last spring Roxbury High School watched graduating senior Tyler DePree commit to joining the United States Army. Tyler left shortly after graduation to head to basic training in North Carolina and then on to Virginia for Advanced Individual Training where he’s been since.

During this time, communication with his family has been limited as cell phones weren’t permitted so when Tyler had a chance to come home, he wanted to be sure to see his younger brother, Kevin Powers, a third grader at Nixon School.

Tyler actually arrived home yesterday afternoon and even surprised his mom who thought he wouldn’t be home until the 20th. Tyler told his mom, Krystin that he wanted to surprise Kevin at school. With a day’s notice, Krystin DePree called up Principal Lynch to set the plan in motion.

Tyler came to Nixon School Friday morning and surprised Kevin with their favorite shared meal for lunch, chicken nuggets, fries, and a Frosty from Wendy’s. When Kevin saw Tyler, he jumped in his arms for a big brotherly hug. Tyler stayed for the rest of lunch and dined with Kevin and his classmates.

As Kevin headed to Technology after lunch with his big brother he shared “He’s the biggest Christmas present I’ve ever gotten!”

Tyler returned later in the afternoon to read a book to Kevin’s class.

Tyler, a former Nixon student himself had a special request, to see one of his former teachers, Mrs. Maureen Milde. Milde retired last year after teaching 23 years in Roxbury but was happy to come back for this special surprise. Both Tyler and Kevin had Mrs. Milde as a teacher.

Kurtis Start and his second-grade class also stopped down in the cafeteria to watch the special reunion as Tyler too had Mr. Start as a teacher while at Nixon.

Tyler is only home for a short time and will be heading back to Virginia January 3rd.

PHOTO ATTACHED (courtesy of Roxbury Schools)

  • Tyler DePree and Maureen Milde
  • Kevin Powers and Tyler DePree after lunch
  • Kevin and Tyler
  • Kevin and Tyler Dapping – Kevin had a special request for a picture. He wanted one with the two dapping
  • Family Picture Bunny Ears
  • Family Picture
  • Brothers sharing lunch
  • Tyler surprises Kevin
  • Family Picture Every day is a gift
  • Family Picture with Kevin's Teacher, Stephanie Echevarria

VIDEO ATTACHED (courtesy of Nixon School) · Military Surprise at Nixon School


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