Last week was Homecoming at Redmond High School, but there was another, very special surprise homecoming on the football field Friday night for one Redmond military family, a happy reunion witnessed by a cheering crowd.
Unknown to most folks until the big pre-game reveal, there was an imposter wearing the Redmond Panthers mascot costume this night: Tanya Procter, whose typical uniform is as a human resource specialist in the U.S. Army.
Procter deployed last December and was sent to Kuwait in February.
She said she reached out to Assistant Principal Doug Taylor about four weeks ago to arrange her own very special homecoming surprise for son Brody, who’s in the 11th grade, and daughter Kylie, a ninth-grader.
So when it came time for the coin toss, there was the ” Redmond Panther, ” as the announcer welcomed ” someone special who came a long way this evening. ”
Then, off came the furry gloves and that big Panther head — and down came the happy tears for Tanya’s son and daughter, followed by a warm, long welcome-home hug.
” This is huge! ” Tanya Procter said a few minutes later. ” I’ve been gone for a little over 10 months, and this is a big deal. And I just want to thank Redmond High School for making it all happen. ”
Brody said, ” I was really surprised, because all of a sudden, the Panther started taking off the gloves and her head. And then, I was like, ‘Wait a minute — this isn’t right.’ Then all of a sudden, I see my mom, and I started crying. ”