ZACHARY, La. (BRPROUD) – The Zachary Broncos defeated the Central Wildcats 35-28, on Friday, Oct. 20. The result of the game was not the only thing people were talking about after the final play. A surprise during halftime brought Zachary High School senior, Anna Jordan and her father, Sgt. 1st Class John Jackson Jr., together for the first time in two years.
Anna, a member of the color guard, said she walked onto the field on senior night thinking “I was being recognized for my hard work.” She thought she would get her picture taken, and that would be it. As she walked onto the field, she was joined by her mother, Tabitha Jackson. Soon after, her dad ran onto the field holding a sign with Anna’s name on it.
Within seconds, Anna turned and saw her father. She said that she “was shocked and confused. My brain didn’t register he was actually next to me.”
She immediately hugged her father, and the first thing she said upon seeing her parents together was, “Y’all are both bald.”
Zachary High School posted the memorable moment on their Facebook page.
John said Tabitha masterminded the entire surprise. She alerted him about senior night. According to John, Tabitha took Anna to school and he landed in Baton Rouge around 4 p.m. A quick stop at home to change and then he got some flowers. From there, it was on to the game. After arriving at the stadium, he hid out in the press box until the big moment.
Tabitha went down to see Anna and then parents and seniors were asked to line up. John said, “From the press box, I ran to the right side of the field all the way around to the left side.” He then moved to a wall by the bleachers before the surprise took place.
“The rest was magic,” he said.
John said it made him happy to see his daughter happy. “I can only imagine she was thinking, who has the nerve to stand next to me and put their arm around me? That’s when she looked over and saw me and the onions started being cut,” said John.
He came home to surprise Anna and his son, Nickolas. He surprised his son first in Houston before his football game and then made his way to Baton Rouge.
John said he’s been on active duty with the U.S. Army for 24 years and has been stationed at Osan Airbase in South Korea since February 2022.
John said his trip to Louisiana will be a short one as he is flying back to South Korea on Saturday, Oct, 28.