Soldier, hero, father, son: Deployed Wilsonian on leave surprises family

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“Daddy, I missed you,” Jordan Suggs Jr. said excitedly Thursday upon being surprised by his namesake, who is on leave from a deployment in Poland. “Daddy, I love you.”

Four-year-old Jordan Jr. and 6-year-old Jaiden were all smiles Thursday as they jumped into the arms of their father, Sgt. Jordan Suggs. The 27-year-old Wilson native deployed with the U.S. Army in May and has been video chatting with his two young children despite the seven-hour time difference, but a two-month leadership course in Virginia allowed him to get some real face time with his family.

“I’m looking forward to spending as much time as I can with my family,” Suggs said.

Suggs, who for seven years has been in the military and married to Alexis — a fellow Beddingfield High School graduate — is on his second deployment. When the wheeled vehicle mechanic was deployed to Afghanistan, his son wasn’t born yet and his daughter was a toddler.

“He’s in the Alby,” Jordan Jr. told a teacher Thursday at Higher Knowledge Enrichment, Tutoring and Learning Services after being surprised by his father, who is deployed with Fox Company, 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment.

After surprising the two eager children, Suggs headed to Reid Street Community Center with his family to surprise his mother, Selena Taylor. Taylor teaches exercise classes and was in the pool when she spotted her son’s uniform.

“Lord, wait a minute, y’all. Hold on,” she screamed. “I got to get out of this water right now. That’s my son.”

As she embraced her youngest son, trying to avoid getting him soaking wet, the members of Taylor’s class cheered her on.

“Take your time,” one woman said. “We’re OK, shug. Go ahead.”

Taylor embraced her grandbabies and hugged her son again before heading back to the class.

“Whew. I’m about ready to cry,” she said. “It feels so awesome because I have not seen him in so long.”

Taylor’s older son also is in the Army and stationed in Fort Lewis, Washington. Suggs said he’s looking forward to eating at Mayflower and spending time with his kids.

He’ll head to Virginia later this month for his leadership course, then head back to Torun, Poland, in September. He likely will be promoted to staff sergeant in October and return from his deployment in February.

“The hardest part about being deployed is making it back,” he said. “Once you’re back, you’ve got everything with family, but the first thing is you have to make it back safe.”