Twin siblings Ryan and Jackson Lynch got more than they bargained for as they burst through a large paper “finish line” set up at the end of an “American Ninja Warrior” obstacle course set up inside Angevine Middle School in Lafayette.
“Kind of surprised,” said Ryan after seeing her mother, Tech. Sgt. Danielle Lynch, who serves in the United States Air Force, for the first time since July.
“It was kind of scaryish and embarrassing, but also happy,” Ryan said. “I don’t even remember it, even though it only happened a few moments ago.”
Lynch left her daughter Ryan and son Jackson, both sixth-graders, with their grandparents last July when she deployed to Kunsan Air Base in South Korea, where she is a weapons loader.
“I’m beyond excited,” Lynch said while she waited outside a school assembly that was at face value an opportunity for kids to run the ninja obstacle course — supervised by Brian Arnold, who competed on the television show “American Ninja Warrior” — but culminated with the surprise reunion.
Megan Weir, assistant principal, said kids who ran the course had their names chosen at random but Ryan and Jackson had their names thrown in to be last for the big surprise.
When Ryan and Jackson ran through the end of the obstacle course, they nearly fell down when they saw their mom, and the three embraced and wept together for several minutes to a roar of applause from the assembled students.
Lynch said that she has never been away from her kids this long, and they plan on spending spring break together in Colorado Springs.
She said that they would likely go out for dinner on Friday evening, but she admitted that it was a 16-hour flight from South Korea, so the evening’s plans would likely end with that.
“I’m going to get some sleep,” she said.
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