Reunited at last: Navy officer surprises daughter at school after returning from deployment

Andrew Yoakum was reunited with his family on Tuesday after returning from a ten and a half month deployment. Yoakum is a Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy.

Posted: Jan 21, 2020 6:25 PM

SULLIVAN, Ind. (WTHI) – First-grade students at Sullivan Elementary School clapped as Brooklyn Yoakum ran into her father’s arms on Tuesday.

"I love my daddy,” Brooklyn Yoakum said.

Andrew Yoakum was reunited with his family on Tuesday after returning from a 10 and a half month-long deployment. Yoakum is a Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy. He was deployed to the Middle East on April 1, 2019, with USS Abraham Lincoln.

Brooklyn, and her brother, Ben, who is in preschool, knew their dad was coming home. They didn’t know it was going to be on Tuesday.

"He was supposed to be back October 1, then got extended, and extended again and again, so finally, we got an official date last month,” Andrew’s wife, Ashton Yoakum told News 10.

Ashton Yoakum knows what it's like to be gone. She served for five years in the Navy.

"I was in the military before, so I kind of get both sides of how it is for him to be gone, and how it was when I was gone. But this seemed to be the worst deployment, I guess, for us. It took a lot longer," Ashton Yoakum described.

This is Yoakum's ninth deployment. Yoakum is stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor, Washington.

Yoakum will retire this November after serving for 21 years.

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