Specialist Robert Goins of the Bronx is having a very good day. That’s because it’s the first time in almost a year that he’s been able to hug his children. The decorated member of the New York Army National Guard, who has received the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, deployed to Kuwait in March of 2018 in support of the US operation fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria. He stayed in the Middle East as part of training exercises with Egypt. Now he’s finally returned home.
Goins’s 7-year-old daughter Allana and 8-year-old son Jayden went to class just like any other day today, but after 11 months away Goins wasn’t about to let a little thing like the school day keep him from his kids any longer than he already had been.
PS 111 in Eastchester set up a special assembly so that Goins could surprise his kids this morning along with his wife Anistaisa, his mother Sylvia and his 3-year old Elijah.
The Army National Guard Specialist hid behind a curtain, and as Allana and Jayden came on stage it was pulled back. The kids, surprised and overjoyed to see their father, ran to greet him.
Afterwards, Anistaisa said, “This moment—it’s hard for me to describe. It’s me getting my best friend back. Seeing him, seeing the kids happy, that made me happy.”
As for Goins, after seeing his children for the first time in 11 months he clearly felt his time away today. "Being away from them for the holidays and birthdays—they grown."
It was a special morning for Goins and his kids, made all the more special because they were able to share it with so many people. And now hopefully he’ll get to share some well-deserved time with his family.
You can watch the whole heart-warming moment above.