March 11, 2016 Share

Surprise homecoming

Surprise homecoming, a local hero returns to his family

SFC Stewart surprises kids at Assembly

A local hero returns to his family

By Tyler Pruett

tyler@southerntorch.com

RAINSVILLE, Ala— A touching scene unfolded at Cornerstone Academy this week when Sgt. 1st Class Johnny Stewart II surprised his children at a student assembly. Stewart has been deployed the last nine months in Kosovo, and was happy to return home a little early to a special homecoming.

With the cooperation of Cornerstone Christian Academy, a special assembly was held as a surprise for Stewart’s children, Trey age 9, and Caroline, age 3.

“Danny Ashley and Angela Smith, administrators of Cornerstone, along with Jimmy Hobbs, band director and Misty Williams, Bookkeeper/Secretary were instrumental in arranging the surprise.” Stewart’s wife Sherri said. “Many thanks for helping us make this day special.”

Shortly after beginning the ceremony, Trey and Caroline were asked to play one of the musical instruments for a song. While they were taking part in the musical act, Stewart quietly emerged from one of the back rooms in the gymnasium. His children seemed in disbelief at first, not expecting their father at school today.

This was Stewart’s second deployment overseas, also serving a long deployment to Iraq.

“I had to be at Fort Bliss for seven days to out process and demobilize,” Stewart said, “It was hard to keep it a surprise for the kids.”

Stewart certainly felt the appreciation from the community for his homecoming on Wednesday, but had already felt it in a big way while still deployed. While in Kosovo, the City of Rainsville promoted him to Chief of Police after the retirement of Chief Charles Centers.

Stewart has already served the City of Rainsville for almost 20 years as a police officer. He served many years as the assistant chief, and has a wealth of knowledge on the day to day operations of the Rainsville Police Department.

When asked about the promotion, Stewart expressed his gratitude to the community for trusting him with the top police job. “I’m excited about the opportunity,” Stewart said. “I live here, my kids obviously go to school here, and I really want to see our community go forward.”

The Rainsville First Baptist Church would also like to announce that they will be having a coming home celebration for Stewart this Sunday, March 13, from 2 – 4 pm in the fellowship hall.

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