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updated: 10/30/2013 12:57 PM

Soldier receives surprise hero's welcome at son's Barrington school

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  • U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Schroeder of Lake Barrington received a hero's welcome Wednesday at St. Anne Parish School in Barrington. Schroeder had planned to surprise his son William, a pre-Kindergarten student at the school, with his return for a two-week leave, but instead students and staff surprised him with their greeting. "It's been shocking and an honor," he said.

       U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Schroeder of Lake Barrington received a hero's welcome Wednesday at St. Anne Parish School in Barrington. Schroeder had planned to surprise his son William, a pre-Kindergarten student at the school, with his return for a two-week leave, but instead students and staff surprised him with their greeting. "It's been shocking and an honor," he said.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Schroeder of Lake Barrington poses with his son's pre-Kindergarten class Wednesday at St. Anne Parish School in Barrington. Schroeder, home on a two week leave from yearlong deployment to South Korea, received a hero's welcome at the school.

       U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Schroeder of Lake Barrington poses with his son's pre-Kindergarten class Wednesday at St. Anne Parish School in Barrington. Schroeder, home on a two week leave from yearlong deployment to South Korea, received a hero's welcome at the school.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Schroeder of Lake Barrington gets a hug from his son, William, on Wednesday when visiting St. Anne Parish School in Barrington. Schroeder planned on surprising the 4-year-old in his pre-Kindergarten class, but instead got a surprise hero's welcome from the school's students and staff.

       U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Schroeder of Lake Barrington gets a hug from his son, William, on Wednesday when visiting St. Anne Parish School in Barrington. Schroeder planned on surprising the 4-year-old in his pre-Kindergarten class, but instead got a surprise hero's welcome from the school's students and staff.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • William Schroeder rushes to give his father, U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Schroeder of Lake Barrington, a hug Wednesday in his pre-Kindergarten classroom at St. Anne School in Barrington.

       William Schroeder rushes to give his father, U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Schroeder of Lake Barrington, a hug Wednesday in his pre-Kindergarten classroom at St. Anne School in Barrington.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Schroeder of Lake Barrington received a surprise hero's welcome Wednesday at St. Anne School in Barrington. Home on a two-week leave from his assignment in South Korea, Schroeder planned on surprising his 4-year-old son William in his pre-Kindergarten class.

       U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Schroeder of Lake Barrington received a surprise hero's welcome Wednesday at St. Anne School in Barrington. Home on a two-week leave from his assignment in South Korea, Schroeder planned on surprising his 4-year-old son William in his pre-Kindergarten class.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report

U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Schroeder of Lake Barrington planned to surprise his 4-year-old son, William, with his return for a two-week leave from a yearlong deployment to South Korea.

Instead, it was Schroeder who received the surprise of a lifetime Wednesday when he arrived at St. Anne Parish School in Barrington to drop in on his son's pre-Kindergarten class.

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Schroeder was greeted by the school's band playing the Star Spangled Banner and cheered on by students lining the hallway.

"I've been in Korea for six and a half months," said Schroeder, who grew up in Rolling Meadows. "It was actually my wife's idea coming back to his school and surprising him, the rest of this stuff is a surprise, I had no idea about any of this, It's been shocking and an honor."

After a tearful reunion with his son, Schroeder sat down as his wife, Irma, read the book "Hero Dad" by Melinda Hardin to the class.

"I'm just really excited to have him home," Irma said.

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