LIMESTONE TWP. — An area couple were reunited Oct. 26 when the husband, who was serving in the Army National Guard in the Middle East, along with several of his wife’s friends, gave his wife one of the biggest surprises of her life.

Tanisha Keenan of Curllsville thought that her husband, Sgt. 1st Class John Keenan, wasn’t expected to arrive home until Monday or Tuesday of this week. She had her fingers crossed that he would arrive in time for the birth of their fourth child, who was scheduled to be delivered by C-section this past week.

Instead, Sgt. Keenan was able to take an earlier flight, arriving at the Pittsburgh International Airport that Friday morning where the couple’s friend, Jenelle Kirkpatrick of Limestone, had planned to pick him up.

Kirpatrick had contacted Tri-County Sunday’s sister newspaper, The Leader-Vindicator, several days earlier, asking if a reporter could pose as a photographer who was giving her a lesson in how to use her new camera. She told Tanisha Keenan that she wanted to take maternity photos of her and their mutual friend, Kaylene Belloit, who are both pregnant.

On Friday afternoon, Sgt. Keenan, Kirkpatrick and another friend, Brittany Yori, gathered at the home of Jenelle and Dylan Kirkpatrick near Limestone. Sgt. Keenan hid when his wife and Belloit arrived.

The two expectant mothers went outside as Kirkpatrick and the L-V photographer posed them for maternity photos. After a couple of different poses, Kirkpatrick suggested they go down the hill to the farm’s barn for additional photos.

As Tanisha Keenan posed with a patriotic onesie for her new baby, looking down at her baby bump, her husband snuck out from the barn behind her, wrapping his arms around her.

At first she seemed startled, but quickly turned around in complete surprise to see her husband, whom she had not seen since March when he shipped out.

A second reunion took place the following day, as Sgt. Keenan surprised his three children — Bentley, 7, Mackenzie, 4, and Aubrey, 2 — at the Trunk-or-Treat festivities at the Grace Community Church in Curllsville. Kirkpatrick said the children ran to their father, hugging and kissing him.

Sgt. Keenan has served in the Army National Guard for 18 years, based out of Harrisburg. He said he grew up in the Pittsburgh area, but moved to Clarion County because his family had a farm here. His wife is originally from Harrisburg.

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