This story originally appeared at InspireMore.
Ever since her son joined the military at 18 years old, Joquina Williams has put on a brave face. Like all other military moms, she’s had to — but staying strong is hard, especially when you don’t see your child for months at a time.
U.S. Army National Guard Sgt. Christopher Williams was recently deployed to Afghanistan, and Joquina has spent the last seven months counting the days until he returns to Georgia. While the mom-of-six was expecting her 24-year-old to be back home in November, little did she know that she wouldn’t have to wait that long.
You see, Williams, who serves in the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, has been planning a very special surprise for his mom. Joquina had no idea he actually returned this month. So when he showed up unannounced outside the trolley bus she drives, Joquina completely lost it.
In a touching video recorded by Master Sgt. Meara Brown, we see Joquina rushing out of the bus at the sight of her son, shrieking and crying, “My baby home!” It’s all she can do to wrap her arms around him and hold on as the rush of emotions overwhelms her.
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“You didn’t tell me,” she says between sobs, holding Williams’ face between her hands. “You didn’t tell your mama.”
Then Joquina cycles through touching and hugging her son…
…kissing his face, and holding him out for another look as if to make sure he’s actually there.
The sweet mom’s reaction had thousands crying along with her. Some knew exactly how she felt in the moment from firsthand experience.
“So sweet… I know the feeling,” one viewer wrote. “My son surprised me the same when he came back from his deployment. Is an awesome feeling hard to describe. Thank you for your service young man and happy you are back.”
It must have been tough for Williams to keep his early return a secret, but seeing the look in his mom’s eyes was clearly so worth it. Thank you for your service and sacrifice, Williams.
Watch their tear-jerking reunion below, and be sure to share with other military families who could use a smile!