HAHIRA, Ga. -- A Roseburg High School graduate and former Roseburg Police Officer gave his kids quite a surprise when he returned from an overseas deployment to his home in Georgia.
Jarrett Pieske is a First Lieutenant, stationed at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia. He graduated from RHS in 1993 and worked for the Winston Police Department before taking a job with Roseburg police in 2005.
In 2009, Pieske took a military leave of absence from the department to go active duty, and recently returned home to Georgia from a long tour overseas.
When he arrived back in Georgia in February, Jarrett and his wife Becca, went to his 13-year-old daughter Sydney's middle school.
It was an emotional reunion as she came down the hallway and saw her mom, rounded the corner and ran into Jarrett's arms for the first time since June of 2011.
Their son Adison, 14, knew something was up right away though. Jarrett told KPIC News he was already out of school and at a friend's house, and knew something was up when he saw his mom there. "Where's Dad?" he said, as he ran out of the house, spotting Jarrett almost right away.
Pieske attended training in June of 2011 at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, before being deployed to Sather Air Base in Iraq. His group left Iraq in December, and he went to Afghanistan to finish his tour.
Jarrett said seeing his kids again was very special. "It was a relief to be back home after being gone for such a long time."
While overseas, Pieske also went to Kuwait, Qatar, finally coming home with a pass through Kyrgyzstan.
Jarrett also had a special picture with him while he was gone, that Jayda Pieske of Roseburg made for him. "I had it hanging in my office in Iraq and then took it with me in my travels in Afghanistan," said Pieske. He told KPIC News he tried to get a picture taken with his drawing when he left for Afghanistan, so he could show Jayda that her pterodactyls had made it all over the world.
Jarrett credits the hard work of his entire team for the awards he received after his tour was up, which included the Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Nato Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, JointService Achievement Medal and Army Achievement Medal.