AKRON, OH (WOIO) - The Jenkins family never saw it coming this weekend.
As they waited to accept a military appreciation award at the Bridgestone Invitational on behalf Major Timothy Jenkins, the husband and father of four emerged in an unexpected homecoming after spending 10 months away in Kuwait.
"We do, we take things for granted, saying goodbye to my family, every time I do it, it's a very difficult event," said Jenkins.
Jenkins has served in the military for 17 years, and he's volunteered at the Bridgestone invitational for the past five. When the event's organizers learned he was returning early from Kuwait, they arranged the big surprise.
His 3-year old-son jumped into this father's arms when he saw him.
"It's been a tough year away because he's grown up so much in 10 months. When I left, he spoke one word. Now it's complete sentences," he said.
Jenkins' wife was also emotional at seeing him for the first time in almost a year.
"I'm lost for words," she said. "I'm shaking. I'm so happy, words cannot express how I feel, very happy. I just want to hug him."
Jenkins said while missing his family, who lives in Avon, is difficult, serving his country is his greatest responsibility and honor.
"For me, it's a reminder that there's a lot of sacrifice that goes into the freedom and the way of life that we have here in our country, and I am honored and proud to be a part of that. It makes coming home more special it makes you really appreciate what we have the way of life and you just don't take things for granted as much as you used to," said Jenkins.
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