MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — Just as she had the 43 school days prior, GMC Prep seventh-grader Danica Resha lined up in morning formation Friday on Grant Parade. She shouted the regimental accolade and three words to live by with her fellow cadets but had no idea there was something else waiting for her near the end of the military school’s daily custom.
Her father, Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Resha, recently returned home from a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan with the Army National Guard’s 48th Brigade and surprised his daughter during morning formation. She was expecting him back sometime between September and December but was clueless about his return.
“I had no idea,” she said.
Sgt. Resha waited inside the Old Capitol Building, knowing Danica would be facing the opposite direction and waited for the perfect time to approach his daughter.
“I was a nervous wreck sitting inside waiting,” he said.
Once he revealed himself to Danica, the seventh-grader stood, eyes wide and mouth open, before hugging her father who she had not seen in nine months. It was an emotional start to the day, to say the least.
This was Sgt. Resha’s fourth deployment in 20 years with the National Guard as he and his fellow guardsmen arrived in Afghanistan Dec. 22, 2018. The idea to surprise his daughter came from his wife, Brandi, who put the plan in motion once they knew he could get back to Milledgeville Friday. It was a little out of the ordinary for Brandi to be at GMC Prep’s morning formation, but she came up with the alibi that she needed to talk to someone at the school to keep her daughter none the wiser.
“We’ve been working on this for at least two months,” Sergeant Resha said. “A big part of it was the demobilization process once I got home, not knowing exactly when it would be complete and ready to come home.”
When he’s not serving his country in the National Guard, Resha works as a special agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Region 6 office in Milledgeville.
“I’m just looking forward to spending time together,” Sgt, Resha said when asked if he and his family have anything special planned.