Dad just home from Afghanistan surprises son

Published 12:49 am Tuesday, October 30, 2018

After a nine-month National Guard deployment in Afghanistan, Marcus Stacks surprised his son Saturday night by showing up to watch him race cars in Baker, Fla.

“I didn’t tell him when I was coming home,” Stacks said. “So I showed up on the track and stood by his car while he was getting ready and surprised him.”

Hunter, who is 12, said that he was completely surprised when his dad showed up at the track.

“It had been since last year that I have seen him,” He said. “I was really surprised when he showed up.”

Even though Stacks showed up before the race, Hunter said that it didn’t distract him.

“I was OK,” Hunter said. “I was doing OK in the race, but I didn’t get to finish because my fuel pump broke.”

Stacks said that he had surprised his son once before in the same way and he went on to win the race.

“Last July I came home to surprise him,” Stacks said. “He went on to win his first race ever so I don’t think I distracted him at all.”

Stacks’ job in Afghanistan was to provide training and assistance to Afghan nationals.

“There wasn’t really a lot to do in our off time,” Stacks said. “We had a lot of cookouts and played some corn hole.”

Hunter said that he missed his father’s hamburgers the most.

“I miss him a lot when he is overseas,” Hunter said. “Mostly his hamburgers though.”

While he was in Afghanistan, Stacks was able to have Wi-Fi most of the time.

“I was able to talk to my family a lot, which made things better,” Stacks said. “I missed them a lot.”

Stacks has worked full time with the National Guard for nine years and he said that learning the different similarities between cultures is the best part.

“I really enjoy working with the Afghans and different countries,” Stacks said. “We work with Australians, Spanish, Danish and Turkish people, so bringing all of those cultures together, it’s really interesting to find out the similarities and differences.”

Stacks is the only member of his 19-member unit from Covington County.

“We have several guys from all over the state,” Stacks said. “But I’m the only one from Covington County.”

The one thing that Stacks is looking forward to with being home is getting back into his day-to-day routine.

“I am just ready to get back into my routine,” Stacks said. “Actually being able to shower without shower shoes.”

Stacks is a 2004 alumni of Andalusia High School.