SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio military mom finally got home this week from nine months deployed in Afghanistan, but she waited a tough few extra days, just to give her kids the ultimate surprise.
There was great baseball and a cheering crowd. It seemed like a regular night at the Missions ballgame, but for Gunner, 6, and Olivia, 9, something was missing: their mom.
"We provide a lot of the blood products throughout Afghanistan, so providing all the blood through FST's for all the traumas or anything that happened," said Sgt. Lisa Perez of the 987th Blood Support Detachment.
Perez peeked out of the press box window, and finally found her kids sitting in the stands.
"Oh I see them!" she yelled out.
Little did they know she was at the game.
"It’s been very hard and I’m really super excited to see them right now," Perez said nervously. "There’s going to be some tear works there."
After the second inning, Olivia and Gunner were brought down to the field with family members, for what they thought was a pony hop game. Instead they announced a special guest.
As their mom appeared from behind the dugout, the kids came running with their arms out wide.
Mom fell to the ground hugging them both, little Olivia in tears. She wasn't the only one. The crowd cheered and also filled with emotion at the display of true military sacrifice before them.
When asked after the surprise what she thought, Olivia said, "It was amazing!"
Olivia has been counting down the days to her mom's homecoming, and had no idea Perez was already on U.S. soil, hiding out in order to surprise her.
"I'm almost as tall as you," Olivia laughed, pointing to her mom.
They have a lot of catching up to do, and a lot of plans, now that mom's home
"Play Minecraft with her," Gunner said, clinging to his mom.
"We're going to go to Destin!" Olivia said excitedly.
Perez will be doing it all holding on tight to her two favorite people in the world.
"It’s been a great experience. I’ve met a lot of people through my deployment. A lot of my brothers and sisters are still out there and I miss all of them terribly. But I am super glad to be home with my kids," she said.
Perez will be back for at least five years, which is typically when she’d be deployed next unless she volunteers for another mission.
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