Military father from Franklin, KY returns home; surprises his son at school

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FRANKLIN, Ky. (WBKO) – It was just an ordinary day of school for Patrick Bunnell. That would surely change when he would get the surprise of a lifetime.

It was “Dress As Your Favorite Character” Day at Simpson Elementary School. Patrick was shown in the video, sporting a military uniform.

He says he wore the uniform based off of one of his heroes, Desmond Doss. Doss earned the Medal of Honor in 1945 after saving around 75 soldiers, without firing a single bullet.

When Joshua showed up to his son’s school in full uniform, Patrick instantly knew his father was home.

Staff Sergeant Joshua Bunnell has served in the U.S. Army for 13 years as an Infantryman and Weapons Squads Leader. The last time he saw his wife and two children was ten months ago after Thanksgiving.

Joshua said the idea behind surprising his son at school came from Patrick watching videos of soldiers returning home. Patrick told his mother that he wanted a video of his own.

“He had been watching YouTube videos for a very long time,” said Joshua.

“He brought it up to my wife and mentioned that’s how he wanted to be surprised, was basically at school. Now, he has his own video to be able to watch on replay and not so much on YouTube.”

Joshua’s wife, Lacy, worked with Patrick’s school, Simpson Elementary, to help set up his homecoming and it was all caught on camera.

“How many views does it have?” Patrick asked his father.

“Honestly, buddy, the last time I looked, I thought there was 6,000, but your mother said there was 10,000 now.” Joshua said.

Bunnell said surprising his son at his school was not about the view count, rather about the amazing memory that will last a lifetime between a father and his son.

“It is something that I know – 20 years down the road – in time, I’ll be able to look back when he’s older and we can both sit down, discuss this and be a lifelong memory for us both, and the family as well,” said Joshua.

Joshua says he and Patrick plan on doing lots of fishing, hunting, and drag-racing at Beech Bend Park while he is home.

You can view the full video on our Facebook page.

Copyright 2022 WBKO. All rights reserved.

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