Lifestyle & Human Interest

Soldier Mom Returns from Afghanistan To Surprise 10-Year-Old Son at Scuba Diving Class


The last nine months have been tough for 10-year-old Jamari Davis, who has been separated from his mother, Vaneshyia Augustine, as she served in Afghanistan as a soldier in the U.S. Army.

When the school year ended, Jamari moved in with his grandmother, Charlene Wilson-Cain, and kept busy with one of his favorite activities, scuba diving.

When Wilson-Cain learned that Jamari’s mother was coming back to the U.S., she helped organize a surprise reunion for the pair during one of Jamari’s scuba classes.

Augustine, an S4 clerk in the Army, told Good Morning America that during her nine-month deployment, she “constantly missed” her close-knit family.

When Augustine stepped inside Southern SeaQuestrians in Atlanta, where Jamari takes scuba lessons, she glimpsed her son for the first time since Christmas.

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Jamari was underwater, wearing scuba gear and completely unaware that his mother had walked in.

When Jamari surfaced poolside, his instructor gave him a bit of a nudge, indicating that Jamari might want to look behind him.

When Jamari saw his mother, standing there in her Army uniform, he was a bit confused at first.

But reality quickly set in, and Jamari, in his joy, couldn’t climb out of the pool fast enough.

Augustine helped heave her son, still wearing his oxygen tank, out of the water. The pair gave one another a wet, happy embrace as Jamari’s instructors became overwhelmed with emotion.

“It was so moving because he was wet and she was in her uniform just crying,” President of Southern SeaQuestrians, Kim Yarborough, said.

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“Nothing prepares you for seeing family like that, I started to tear up behind my own mask.”

Jamari later told GMA that he missed his mother “helping me through things,” and called it a “blessing” to be able to see her on that day.

“The hardest part was being away from him,” Augustine said, sharing how she and her son typically did everything together.

Charlene Wilson-Cain, who was present at the reunion, was thrilled to see her daughter and grandson able to embrace one another again.

“Mother and Son Reunion,” she posted on Facebook, along with video from the event. “Thank God she made it back safe from Afghanistan … I had signed him up for a Scuba lesson and what better way to surprise him with her return … LOVE ME BOTH OF THEM.”

Augustine is now stationed at an Army base about three hours away from Jamari and said that perhaps now would be a good time for her to learn how to scuba dive, too.

The Western Journal has reached out to Wilson-Cain for comment but has not yet received a response. We will update this article if and when we do.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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Lifestyle & Human Interest