A couple of Big Spring natives reunited in a special way recently, and — thanks to reality television — the whole nation can share the moment.
U.S. Army Sgt. Garrett Huitt, his wife April and their children Aaric and Kendall will be featured in the TLC broadcast of “Surprise Homecoming” Monday night at 9 p.m. Central Time.
The series, which is hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus, features surprise military homecomings. The hour-long show features three such “reunions,” including the Huwitt family homecoming that took place March 15.
Garrett, who joined the Army in 2007, found out about the new show while he was serving in Iraq.
“It was through public affairs — every unit has one. TLC contacted them saying they needed soldiers for a show,” Garrett explained. “I was going to lunch one day and some guy pulled me over and said ‘Hey, do you want to go home early?’ and I said ‘Sure!’ They said ‘You’ll get to surprise your wife.’ I said “Great!’ They said ‘Well, give us a sob story about how you deserve to go home’and I said ‘I can’t give you a sob story. I’m just like everyone else here, but I can tell you that my wife deserves it.’
“I wasn’t expecting to get picked, but they picked me,” Garrett said.
Back in the Colorado Springs, Colo., wife April was told she was going to be part of a new reality show — but not “Surprise Homecomings.”
“I was told it was a reality show with me taking a celebrity and showing him the banking world,” said April, who is administrative assistant to the branch president at the Tejon Branch of the Bank of Colorado. “The celebrity was Billy Ray Cyrus. I started showing him around the bank and telling him what we did. I had no idea that Garrett was going to show up in the lobby. I was a little shocked and very excited to see that he was home.”
In an employee newsletter, April wrote, “The surprise of my husband was an amazing, once in a lifetime, unforgettable memory that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.”
Those unable to catch Monday’s airing of the program will have other opportunities. It also airs at 1 a.m. May 31, 10 p.m. June 1, 12 a.m. June 2, 7 p.m. June 6 and 2 a.m. June 7 (Times are Eastern. Central times are one hour earlier.)
April is a 2000 graduate of Big Spring High School. She received associates degrees in art and science from Howard College. She’s the daughter of Aurora Lozano of Lovington, N.M., and Larry Collins of Richardson. Garrett graduated from BSHS in 2003 and worked in the oilfield for several years before joining the Army.
He is the son of Terry Huitt and Ronda Holguin of Big Spring.
Garrett will be discharged from the Army in three months and the family will be returning to Big Spring.
“We’ll be moving back, and by the way, we’re seeking employment. So if anyone has anything, keep us in mind, please,” Garrett said with a grin.