On a day known for tricks and treats, a Nekoosa second grader got the treat of a lifetime, a very special surprise from his mom.
Second grader Journey Surak thought the principal was surprising the class with candy for Halloween. Instead, his mom, Army Sergeant Wendy Surak, walked through the door.
When we asked Journey what it was like seeing his mom for the first time in months the smile on his face said it all, but he did add, "[It was] really exciting."
Sergeant Surak hasn't been home in more than a year. She was deployed stateside in Hattiesburg, Mississippi for 13 months.
"She was gone for a really long time," Journey said holding tight to his mom.
Journey has no idea his mom was coming home. In fact, he thought her deployment could be extended for another year.
"Not a clue, not a clue," Sgt. Surak laughed when asked if Journey knew she was coming. "We even talked last night and he asked if he could send me some Halloween candy."
Waiting to walk into Ms. Nelson's second grade, Sgt. Surak was a mix of emotions.
"I was nervous," She told NewsChannel 7. "I was really nervous, excited and I kind of wasn't sure how to feel."
But as soon as she saw her son, those nerves were replaced with pure joy.
"It was just a very good feeling, very good feeling. It's hard being away, but the coming home makes it well worth it," Sgt. Surak said holding tight to Journey's hand.
With some help from her mom, Grandma Sherri, Sgt. Surak was able to pull off the surprise.
"It's been really hard to keep everything a secret, but we pulled it off," Grandma Sherri Lecher laughed. "Almost slipped a few times, but we managed."
"He loves school and I'm in the process of becoming a teacher myself and I love the students," Sgt. Surak explained. "I work with the students here a lot and I figured it was the best way to do it."
"I had like a lump in my throat," Lecher said choking back tears. "It's like such an overwhelming joyful feeling that, ya know and you cry, but it's tears of joy because she's home."
This was Sgt. Surak's last deployment. Now she's home for good and looking forward to some one-on-one time with her son.
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