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Army uncle surprises niece at Gray Station

Army Specialist Rusty Towery showed up at Gray Station Middle School March 21 to surprise his niece, Logan Burke, after not seeing her for over a year.

Towery said he’s been away from home since 2016, only seeing Logan for a few days at a time usually. He said he wanted to catch her off guard as he walked to her classroom and suddenly appeared before her.

“It was great to surprise my niece in this way,” he said. “I hadn’t seen her in so long, so I was glad to be back with her and my family.”

Logan said that her uncle loves her, and she loves him, too, but they have a unique relationship where they tease each other a lot. She said they are more like brother and sister.

“I was extremely surprised to see my uncle here at Gray Station because I didn’t have any idea what was going on. My mom told me he wasn’t going to be home until another night,” she said.

The uncle said he’s always happy to see his family after not seeing them for a while. He said it was a lot of fun to plan the visit to the school, too.

“She’s texted me almost everyday asking me when I was going to be home, so I’d say meeting her up here at the school was very important. I hadn’t seen her in the past year or so, so it was a little emotional,” Towery said.

The niece said when she ran toward her uncle a lot of emotions went through her head as she embraced him and hugged him. She said she was very happy to see him at the school.

“I was so nervous to see him, but I was also excited,” Logan said. “It was just a great surprise. I think this was a happy reunion.”

Logan said after they met up they were going out to eat to celebrate her uncle coming home even though he was only staying about a week. She said Towery surprising her is a memory she will never forget.

“I’ve missed him a lot because he’s my favorite uncle. We grew up together and we’re really close. He’s a very weird guy, but I love him,” the niece said.

Towery said his niece is abundantly lovable, but teases she’s short and mean. He said that’s how he describes her to get under her skin a bit, but he truly loves her and the special relationship they have.

“I woke up and knew I was going to be able to see her,” Towery said. “I got a little nervous when I got to the school because there were eyes everywhere, but it was worth it. I’ll remember the moment forever because it was special.”