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Soldier Surprises Sibling with Military Homecoming


Soldier Surprises Sibling with Military Homecoming

Tyler surprises Kevin and Kevin gives a big hug to Tyler  

ROXBURY, NJ (December 20, 2019) – Last spring Roxbury High School watched graduating senior Tyler DePree commit to joining the United States Army. Tyler left shortly after graduation to head to basic training in North Carolina and then on to Virginia for Advanced Individual Training where he’s been since. 

Brothers sharing lunch During this time, communication with his family has been limited as cell phones weren’t permitted so when Tyler had a chance to come home, he wanted to be sure to see his younger brother, Kevin Powers, a third-grader at Nixon School. 

Tyler (Army) with mom and brother Kevin Tyler actually arrived home yesterday afternoon and even surprised his mom who thought he wouldn’t be home until the 20th. Tyler told his mom, Krystin that he wanted to surprise Kevin at school. With a day’s notice, Krystin DePree called up Principal Lynch to set the plan in motion. 

Tyler came to Nixon School Friday morning and surprised Kevin with their favorite shared meal for lunch, chicken nuggets, fries, and a Frosty from Wendy’s. When Kevin saw Tyler, he jumped in his arms for a big brotherly hug. Tyler stayed for the rest of lunch and dined with Kevin and his classmates. 

As Kevin headed to Technology after lunch with his big brother he shared “He’s the biggest Christmas present I’ve ever gotten!” 

Tyler returned later in the afternoon to read a book to Kevin’s class. 

Tyler, a former Nixon student himself had a special request, to see one of his former teachers, Mrs. Maureen Milde. Milde retired last year after teaching 23 years in Roxbury but was happy to come back for this special surprise. Both Tyler and Kevin had Mrs. Milde as a teacher. 

Kurtis Start and his second-grade class also stopped down in the cafeteria to watch the special reunion as Tyler too had Mr. Start as a teacher while at Nixon. 

Tyler is only home for a short time and will be heading back to Virginia January 3rd. 

PHOTO ATTACHED (courtesy of Roxbury Schools)

VIDEO ATTACHED (courtesy of Nixon School)


For more information, contact: Roxbury Community School/Community Relations Coordinator Ann Rhodes at or 973-584-7699. 


Roxbury Public Schools is a K-12 school district preparing the children of today for tomorrow. As a dynamic and thriving district, in partnership with a supportive and collaborative community, Roxbury Public Schools inspires and empowers all learners to flourish as ethical and global citizens in the 21st century. The district serves students throughout Roxbury Township, New Jersey, including the areas of Landing, Kenvil, Succasunna, Ledgewood, Mount Arlington, Port Morris, Flanders, and Wharton. Connect with us online at or on Facebook at