Chris McKinnon, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Thursday was not the first time the Vickrey family has been apart but it is the first time Race Vickrey's dad is not on his school stage for the annual Veterans' Day celebration. His dad has been stationed in Afghanistan and his older brother in Kuwait.
"It was a little sad that he missed, I think," said Race.
Kimberly Schooler, a fourth grade teacher at Truman Elementary school, saw that Race was having a difficult time and decided to come up with a surprise.
"He was very sad that they weren't going to be here and I thought, you know, we've got all this wonderful technology from our bond money, why don't we use it," explained Schooler.
That set the stage for a surprise Skype call between Race and his dad in front of his entire school.
"I was surprised to see him on the screen over there," said Race. "We haven't talked to him on Skype. This is the first time but we did it once with our brother."
Race's mom said the call could not have come at a better time for her two young boys. She says Race woke up Thursday morning upset that his dad was not going to be on his school stage with the other Veterans. He even wrote a letter to his dad but instead they got to talk face-to-face.
"He was struggling trying to keep cool but he was, he was getting more sad the closer the program happened," said Race's mom Shannon Vickrey.
It was just as important to Shannon, who got to see her husband who is thousands of miles away.
She said, "This has been the hardest deployment that I've had to experience with him… 38:24:00 even though I couldn't reach out and touch him, I got to see his face and share him with all the other people he loves here at Truman."
The whole school got to hear about what life is like being in the military so far from home. School said that is one of the things she tries to teach her students about, just how much families sacrifice when one of their loved ones is deployed overseas.