-- Sgt. Lacey Poltoratskiy had an emotional homecoming with both of her children at their schools in Hewitt, Texas, on Monday.
First, the returning Fort Hood soldier surprised her kindergartner son, Daxton Hunter, at Hewitt Elementary School. He was told a special guest speaker was coming to their classroom, but when he realized it was his mom, tears streamed down his face.
“I started crying before we even walked down the hall in anticipation,” Poltoratskiy told ABC News of the moments before her first reveal. “I was trying to keep myself together so I wouldn’t walk in the classroom bawling in front of a bunch of kindergarteners. All the kids were sitting on the carpet and their heads turned and I heard him yell, ‘Mommy!’ as soon as I walked in there. Being able to finally hug on him was wonderful. He was crying.”
Then Poltoratskiy surprised her seventh-grade daughter, JaiceyBelle Hunter, dressed as the school’s mascot at Midway Middle School. When she removed the costume from her head, it was instant tears for both of them.
“I was already crying in the mask,” said the mom. “JaiceyBelle likes the flair and the drama. I was excited because I knew the big surprise would resonate well. They arranged her to stand next to me and I reached over and started poking on her and messing with her because I couldn’t not with her that close.”
The happy family can’t wait to spend Thanksgiving together now that she and her husband, Pavel Poltoratskiy, also a soldier in the army, are both home from their nine-month deployment in Kuwait. The children were living with Lacey Poltoratskiy’s parents in Waco while they were overseas.
Now they’re looking forward to getting back to normal civilian life.
“My sisters have already started the group chat about Thanksgiving dinner and decided which dish I’d be making. I didn’t remind them I have nothing in my fridge,” she said with a laugh. “My husband and I, we do jigsaw puzzles. The kids picked one out and told us they want to do a puzzle with us. This weekend we’re going to the Baylor football game. The kids have got it all figured out what they want to do with us.”