Soldier dresses up as Jedi to reunite with kids

Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Headd surprised children during Griffins Star Wars night.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Dry eyes were hard to come by Saturday night at a Grand Rapids Griffins game as a U.S. Army Reserve sergeant whose latest deployment kept him away from home for nearly a year was reunited with his three young kids.

Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Headd surprised his children, who are between the ages of 3 and 6, on the ice.

The Hudsonville family are huge Star Wars fans and Headd just happened to return home from 10 months in Africa on the same night that the fan club he belongs to was celebrating Star Wars night at Van Andel Arena.

Headd disguised himself as a Jedi knight and made sure he stayed behind a gathering of familiar characters until it was time for the big reveal. The already star-struck children seemed stunned when they unexpectedly saw their dad.


“It was a lot more emotional than I thought It was going to be,” Headd said. “Oh, it felt great. I mean, it’s overwhelming.”

Headd’s wife, Maggie, planned the reunion with the help of the fan club, which had members turn out from around the state and Indiana.

“They (the kids) were still telling me it was two months out that Daddy was going to come home, but they were more than ready (for him to be back),” Maggie Headd said

Headd has been in the Army since 1998 and has been deployed to Iraq and Africa. He serves as an information technology supervisor.

For now, the plan was to enjoy some long-delayed time together.

“Just spend time with the kids, for the next week it’s just me and them getting caught up for the last 10 months of life that we missed,” Headd said

His 6-year-old son, Jacen, suggested a bike ride.

It’s also a good bet that one of the things they’ll do is go see Star Wars together as a family.

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