Andreatta’s son surprises dad with visit

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Andreatta’s son surprises dad with visit

(FILE PHOTO/JOHNNY MULLIGAN)

(FILE PHOTO/JOHNNY MULLIGAN)

(FILE PHOTO/JOHNNY MULLIGAN)

(FILE PHOTO/JOHNNY MULLIGAN)

DANIELLE BENNETT

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After nine months apart, social science teacher Mark Andreatta’s son, John-Mark Andreatta, surprised him with a trip back from the navy last Tuesday. Since John-Mark has spent the last two years stationed in Bahrain in the Persian Gulf as a Master at Arms Third Class, the two have not been together in person since January.

John-Mark began planning his surprise visit a month ago, with his mother, siblings, and his father’s fellow social science teacher, Jessica Fork, in the loop. Mark believed his son would spend his leave in Germany, so he did not expect the reunion.

“I had just texted him last night and he was telling me about how he was gonna be going out and seeing the sights in Germany so it was a total shock,” Mark said. “I was totally fooled.”

When John-Mark approached his father, he initially felt nervous because the two had previously been planning John-Mark’s trip to Germany, which would now no longer be happening.

“I felt nervous,” John-Mark said. “I hadn’t seen him in nine months so I didn’t know how he’d react. I thought he’d get mad because I wouldn’t be in Germany.”

Nevertheless, John-Mark surprised his father at the beginning of one of his classes.

“He was caught up at his desk – didn’t even know I was there until I tapped him on the shoulder,” John Mark said. “He freaked out.”

Mark’s student, sophomore Maddy Harber, witnessed the reunion while in class. Though she did not know who John-Mark was when he first entered the classroom, she soon realized it was her teacher’s son when the two began hugging.

“When his son came in it was really touching, because he hasn’t seen his son since January,” Harber said. “It was really cute.”

Despite the distance between them, the two stayed connected through the nine months John-Mark was at leave through technology.

“The great thing about technology is that even though he’s been literally half way across the world, we text each other all the time and I Facetime him every couple of weeks to see how things are going,” Mark said.

John-Mark plans continue his time in the navy until January 2020. Though this would prolong their time apart, Mark is glad that his son gets to have the experience of living in other countries.

“He’s fortunate,” Mark said. “The idea of living overseas for four years is cool for him. I think living abroad will give him some different experiences.”