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Mom is home

After serving overseas, soldier surprises daughter


HOMECOMING — Army Staff Sgt. Shera Krout surprised her daughter, Madelyn Cerda, in class Friday. AUSTIN JACKSON/WCMESSENGER

HOMECOMING — Army Staff Sgt. Shera Krout surprised her daughter, Madelyn Cerda, in class Friday. AUSTIN JACKSON/WCMESSENGER

Madelyn Cerda couldn’t believe her eyes Friday.

The Young Elementary fourth grader and her classmates sat at their desks as a group of teachers bought time for a surprise.

Little did she know that her mom, Army Staff Sgt. Shera Krout, was finally home.

Krout had just finished a tour that spanned Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait and Iraq. She hadn’t hugged her daughter since April, during a brief stop home in the middle of her yearlong deployment, working on tactical network systems across the Middle East.

Friday, she arrived to Young Elementary in uniform, trailed by other family members and Decatur ISD administrators excitedly walking through the halls of the school.

As the students in the fourth-grade classroom waited patiently, they were told that someone was going to visit. Moments later, Cerda’s eyes stretched wide as her mom walked through the doorway with a beaming smile.

Cerda stood up from her desk, walked forward, then jumped into her arms, grabbing Krout tightly. She didn’t want to let go.

Wet eyes stretched around the classroom, as teachers and staff watched Cerda and Krout embrace through tears and laughter. While dozens watched, the two seemed alone.

Krout said the feeling of that long-awaited moment was indescribable.

“I have been looking forward to this since I left,” Krout said. “When you’re overseas, all you can imagine is coming back home. It’s definitely one of those feelings you can’t describe.”

Decatur lost one of their students that day, but for the best possible reason.

Cerda withdrew from Decatur ISD with plans to live with her mom at Fort Sill in Lawton, Okla.

Krout, who enlisted in 2011, and her daughter sacrificed for their country. Now, the soldier is ready to catch up and celebrate the milestones of her family in person.

“When you’re over there, your world kind of stops, and your family, you realize how much of their lives you missed,” Krout said. “It’s kind of scary coming back, because I’ve missed out on so much. Now, I have to get myself back to where they are.”

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