LINDALE, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texan deployed with the U.S. Navy surprised his children at school on Friday afternoon.
Navy Lt. William Chip Robertson has been deployed since Aug. 23, 2019. The last time he saw his wife and three kids was during a two-day leave last Thanksgiving.
“It’s been a unique experience with everything that’s going on in the world and just the struggles of the deployment life as well," Robertson said.
On Friday, he donned the Lindale Eagles Mascot suit and surprised his kids — ages 5, 7 and 11 — who were gathered for an assembly at College Street Elementary School in Lindale.
Robertson said he’s super excited to be home and is looking forward to spending time with his family, especially his kids.
"Just hugging them and loving them and playing,” he said.
Robertson says he has been able to talk with his family during his deployment thanks to technology.
“Depending on which country we were in with the time zones, it’s been a little challenging because either they’re going to bed or waking up. It’s kind of hit or miss,” he said.
As for Friday’s surprise, Robertson said it was hard to keep his return a secret.
“It was not my idea. My idea was just coming and get them and going home, but I’m happy to do it," he said. "All I wanted to do was come running to the school and get them.”