ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa Bay Airman who returned home from a months-long deployment in Kuwait surprised his 10-year-old daughter at school Thursday afternoon. His daughter Alora attends
United States Air Force TSgt. Michael Bach touched down on U.S. soil Wednesday evening after a more than six-month-long voluntary deployment to Kuwait.
His daughter Alora is a student at St. Judes Catholic School in St. Petersburg and has been waiting for him to return.
“He hasn’t been home, and it’s been very hard without him,” said Alora.
His wife, Amanda, who is a United States Armed Forces (USAF) Veteran, told 8 On Your Side he’s served in a number of combat deployments.
After 20 years of dedicated service, Michael had one more important mission before he can retire in March: keeping the surprise a secret.
“It’s probably the best feeling in the world; I don’t want to leave anymore,” added TSgt. Bach. “In 20 years I am proud to serve, but I am going to serve them now.”
But Alora wasn’t the only one who received a surprise homecoming. TSgt. Bach surprised his mom as well.
“I am in shock, I thought we were going to be surprising his wife, that’s what my other kids told me that the was going to come home, I was going to pick him up and we were going to surprise her,” said Rae Bach, Michael’s mom.
Amanda told 8 On Your Side she hopes the surprise would touch Americans with the happy and safe return of an honorable service member.
The moment was made all the more memorable when dozens of schoolchildren rallied around the reunited family to applaud. After the tears of joy subsided, Michael said those all-important words: “Let’s go home.”
“I love my husband and in the effort of demonstrating my love and honoring him, I thought that I would make the effort to commemorate and share this moment,” Amanda said. She called surprise “a true American story.”