Madill marine comes home to surprise third grade son at school

MADILL, OK -- A Madill third grader got a one-of-a-kind Christmas gift Monday that he'll never forget.

Eight-year-old Keith Wilcox was shocked to see his father walk through the gymnasium doors at Madill Elementary School Monday afternoon.

"My dad came and I never got to see him in a long time so i'm excited" said Keith.

He hasn't seen his father, a marine serving in the Middle East and Europe, in nearly a year.

Keith said, "I didn't know he would be here for Christmas."

U.S. Marine Brooks Wilcox with the 26th Expedentionary Unit says he doesn't think either of them will ever forget this day.

Brooks said, "it's emotional. It's hard not seeing for a year and then come back and seeing him, so, I thought it would be a good surprise today."

Keith says it's been hard not being able to see his dad face-to-face.

Keith said, "on the phone or he texts my mom" but it's not the same.

Brooks said, "Not having constant contact with him. It's pretty tough."

Director of Elementary Education Lynda McDaniel says this is the first time Madill Elementary has had a surprise visit like this and says the third graders enjoyed asking Wilcox questions about his service after he arrived.

McDaniel said, "Oh my gosh, we were happy to do it. We're real excited and we think it'll be really fun for the kids and especially for somebody at Christmas-time. What a wonderful time to come home."

Keith says he's going to take advantage of every minute that his dad will be home.

Keith said, "When i'm with him I like to... I like to play soccer with my soccer ball and stuff."

Wilcox says he'll be going back overseas in two weeks.

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