Iowa soldier receives warm welcome by students at Carver Academy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa soldier receives warm welcome by students at Carver Academy

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A military reunion for one eastern Iowa family became a homecoming celebration when Carver Academy supported their fellow teacher and his son's return home from Iraq. 

Army specialist Jonah Reeves had been deployed to Iraq for the past nine months, and in September he got word he'd be coming back home. It was a reunion, his father Chris Reeves was looking forward to. Reeves, a sixth grade teacher at Carver Academy in Waterloo, shared the news with his second family, the staff at Carver. His colleague, Chris Peck, who teaches sixth grade alongside Reeves wanted to welcome Jonah home "Carver style." 

"We've been thinking about Jonah ever since he was deployed," said Peck. "And when we found out he was coming home-it was his first day back in Iowa-we had to do something."

Peck planned an entire celebration with the sixth grade students at Carver to welcome Jonah home. Students waved American flags, and performed songs, all thanking and honoring Reeves for his service. The celebration was much more than the welcome home Reeves was expecting. Reeves was only expecting to have lunch with his father. 

"Unreal," said Reeves. "It's just weird seeing family, seeing how much different they all look."

Reeves was deployed for nine months in Iraq. During that time, his unit advised and assisted the Iraqi soldiers while liberating Mosul. 

"He came in the door and my wife grabbed him, hugged him," said Chris Reeves. "And then all our kids, we have four kids total, and the three little ones all grabbed a leg and jumped on him. And then I got my turn-it was really sweet-it's just sweet to have him home."

But for the Reeves family, the warm welcome from Carver made this reunion all the more sweet. 

"And to have a soldier come to Carver that was just out of bounds for them," said Peck. "And they got so excited, they're blowing up balloons, wanted the flags."

Reeves says he's taking in every moment.

"I'm still trying to process it really, I'm just taking it all in as fast as I can," said Reeves. "I'm just shaking everyday because it feels so good to be back."

Aside from reuniting with family and friends, Reeves is also looking forward to one thing he hasn't had in a while.

"Yes, yes home-cooked meals are the best thing right now," said Reeves. 

Reeves will be home for a month, just in time to spend Thanksgiving in Iowa with his family. 

"We're just really proud of him, that's the biggest thing," said Chris Reeves. "To know that he put his life on the line. He and the members of his unit, and all of those that have served before him. To just have him safe home, that's a prayer answered."

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