KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Soldier with Company C, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, was reunited with his family on Thanksgiving during a celebration event at the Country Club Plaza.
Sgt. James Bell, UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crew chief, Co. C, 2nd GSAB, surprised his wife and youngest daughter during the Plaza’s lighting ceremony Nov. 28, by greeting them onstage after returning home early from Afghanistan for the event.
Bell, who deployed with the rest of the 1st CAB in August, said he was looking forward to being with his family again, and he expected his family would be excited to see him.
“My wife will be very happy,” Bell said. “She’ll probably be crying.”
Before coming on stage to meet his wife, Bell waited in a nearby tent set up to appear as if he was making an Internet phone call from Afghanistan.
Bell was told to greet his wife and then say, “I wish I could be there on stage with you,” after she greeted him.
When Bell said the line, the camera zoomed out revealing that Bell was not actually alone, but he was with actor Rob Riggle, who also is a Kansas City native, and Dustin Colquitt, punter for the Kansas City Chiefs.
“Wish granted,” Riggle said.
He and Colquitt then escorted Bell onto the stage, where the Bell family was reunited in front of more than 100,000 people who attended the ceremony.
Following the ceremony, the family was moved to a nearby restaurant that had been prepared to receive them. Bell said he liked surprising his family.
“I feel great about it,” Bell said. “I’m grateful to be back in America, and to be with my wife and my family.”
By Sgt. Keven Parry
1st CAB Public Affairs
PHOTO: Sgt. James Bell, 2nd GSAB, 1st Avn. Regt., 1st CAB, right, greets his wife, Trisha, center, during the Nov. 28 Country Club Plaza Lighting ceremony in Kansas City, Mo. Bell surprised his wife by revealing he was there at the ceremony after returning from Afghanistan the day prior. (Sgt. Keven Parry | 1st CAB)