We've had the pleasure of watching countless men and women return to the ark-la-miss from military duty abroad. Whether it's for good or a just a break -- the excitement of them coming home is always thrilling. Today we helped a family welcome their soldier home and after you hear about some of the challenges this family's faced -- you'll understand why they're so thankful.
It's not often that we get the chance to be in on a surprise like this one. But when it's one with as many components to it as this one--you don't have to wonder why we jumped at the chance.
We'll let you in on the big secret -- but first just listen to this: this is the family of Staff Sergeant George Lawrence Prince -- complete with his wife, Karen; daughter, Brandy and son, Lawrence.
His wife has multiple sclerosis -- his son has had 5 brain surgeries at age 11 and Sergeant Prince himself is suffering from shoulder and back problems. Sergeant Prince's kids haven't seen him since March when he first returned from war. But he only spent 30 minutes with them before being deployed again.
Today's big surprise is that the kids have no idea they're waiting for him now.
Bobette Prince, Sergeant Prince’s mother, explains how she
kept the surprise a secret from him, “It wasn't easy. We just really didn't
talk a lot. When I would, I would just ask them how hot it was in
But they seemed a little suspicious to me--but when their dad stepped off the plane... they're happiness was clear to everybody in the airport.
Sergeant Prince was definitely surprised when he got off the plane. "I was not expecting this,” he said. “All I was expecting was to come home and surprise the little ones. And I'm the one that got the surprise."
Prince is only in town for 2 weeks, but he's thankful for the time. "It's gut wrenching to leave the kids and the family, but I look at it as a positive,” he said. “It's a growing experience for me, the children and my wife."
And prince's mother knows her soldier's return is something special. "I hope that each one of these children return to each one of their parents,” she said. “Absolutely, every one of them."
When Prince leaves two weeks from now, he'll head back to