Squeals of laughter and delight from 3-year-olds can often be heard ruminating from McKinney’s Discovery Learning Center Preschool. On Friday afternoon, one particular 3-year-old, Micah Tucker, could not contain his excitement as he saw his mom, Gabrielle, walk through the door of the classroom where he was participating in story time.
Gabrielle, and her husband Derrick, both medics and Sergeants in the U.S. Army, have recently returned from Baumholder Germany where they were stationed following deployment to Afghanistan. On Friday, the Tuckers were reunited with their son for the first time in a long time.
Derrick, who was able to return home to see his son Micah during leave last fall, has been away since Feb. 2011, returned home December 19. Gabrielle and Derrick were serving in different areas of Germany and had not seen each other since she was sent to Germany in May of 2010.
Micah, the ever active 3-year-old, has been cared for during the time his parents were serving their country by various family members said Tamara Johnson, Gabrielle’s mother.
Gabrielle, a McKinney native and 2006 graduate of McKinney North High School, said it was tough being away from her son. She said she contacted him at least once a week by phone or via Skype, but many times, being the typical active toddler, it was difficult to get the Micah to engage for any period of time.
What was it like to for Gabrielle and Derrick to be reunited after all this time?
“It was overwhelming!” Gabrielle commented.
Amidst giggles, they recalled that the first night back home Gabrielle cooked.
“Gabby cooked lots of junk food – nachos, wings and stuff like that. That’s what I wanted,” Derrick said. “Then we just sat at home.”
The Tuckers will return to Germany at the end of this month but will return stateside in mid-February when they will be stationed in Washington state. There they, and their son, can be a family again.