Mother returning from deployment surprises her children

Socorro Independent School District

POSTED: Friday, May 23, 2014 - 1:01pm

UPDATED: Saturday, May 24, 2014 - 8:23am

Clara Leon returned from her third deployment to Afghanistan and surprised her daughter and son at their schools.

She surprised her son at Helen Ball Elementary School at their award ceremony, and her daughter, Rebecca, at Slider Middle School.

Rebecca and her classmates were called into the library for what they thought was an end of the year check for outstanding fines and overdue books. Little did she know, her mother was hiding in the back, ready to surprise her.

"The more deployments we have, it's harder on them. But I also kept in my mind the words that this strong girl told me before I left. She said 'mom we did 12 months without you fine. This time it's nine. We're going to make it through," Leon said.

Juggling school and life for any middle school student can be rough, but without her mom by her side, Rebecca and her younger brother learned to be strong.

"It's just been hard," Rebecca said.

Various school officials, including teachers, librarians, and the principal all worked to make this reunion as special as it could be.

"My father served in Vietnam. Many of us have military families here who are children and parents of," said Steve Troxel, principal of Slider Middle School.

"We know what its like when those people we love are gone and we know they're in harms way. So these moments are really important... This was an awesome moment. We relived how important those loved ones are to us," Troxel said.

Rebecca said she's going to hold on a little bit tighter this time.  

"I'm not going to let her go. Heck no." 

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