Christmas is a time of family togetherness — or at least it should be. For many of us, the pressures of the season seem to turn family members into foes.
And then there are those of us who simply don’t have family near us. That can make for a lonely Advent season, particularly when those who are missing are part of the military.
Yet, is there anything sweeter than having a deployed family member return home unexpectedly in time for Christmas? I suspect that most military moms and dads, brothers and sisters would say, “No!”
Just think about the joyful shock Kaylee Evans of Mount Olivet, Kentucky, got on Dec. 18. “I was in lunch and Ms. Ann, she went over the intercom and said, ‘Kaylee Evans, come to the office immediately, and I was like freaking out,’” Evans told WKYT.
When Evans stepped into the office she had a big surprise waiting for her. It was her brother, Lance Cpl. Tyler Dockery, who’d been overseas for 10 months.
“I at first didn’t know who it was cause he had changed so much,” Evans said. “I looked up and I’m like, wait a minute, oh my gosh it’s my brother. I’m just really excited he’s home.”
Dockery’s mother, Kendra Henson, chimed in, saying, “‘Cause when you tell them goodbye, you don’t know when the next time you’re going to see them.”
That sense of uncertainty turned into delight for a mother from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. According to KTXS, Christy Wilson hadn’t been able to see her son Ethan since he joined the Marines in September.
But Ethan decided that a surprise was in order for her. He secretly returned home and surprised his mother prior to a Christmas party while cameras were rolling.
Footage showed a tiptoeing Ethan sneaking up behind his mother and placing a hand on her shoulder. When she turned around, her face stayed frozen in shock for a mere moment before she broke out in jubilant screaming, grabbing Ethan’s hoodie and giving him a good shake.
USA Today shared a similar video of an unknown family welcoming a big brother home from the Marines. The surprise was, in many ways, entirely pitch perfect.
It centered around a piano recital by the Marine’s younger brother. See, he was in the middle of a home piano recital when his big brother decided to make his entrance.
As the young man played “America the Beautiful,” the Marine slid quietly into the room. His eyes fixed on the music, the young teen didn’t even notice him.
In fact, he didn’t react when the Marine slid onto the piano stool next to him. As he played the melodic bit that accompanies the lyrics, “And crown thy good with brotherhood,” the young man glanced over at the figure — and did a double take.
Then he jumped up, head in his hands, and exclaimed, “Holy cow!” The pair embraced as the room exploded into laughter, the perfect reaction for a warrior welcomed home.
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