UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WUSA) -- Welcome homes are happy times.
They're even better when they come as a surprise.
Staff Seargeant Latoyal Hairston returned early from Afghanistan and wanted to surprise her daughter at Clinton Christian School in Upper Marlboro. 9NEWS NOW tagged along for the surprise.
8-year-old Aja thought we were there to tape the last day of school.
A day that can seem mundane: Checking out a book, saying good bye to friends, and finding out what everyone is doing this summer.
8-year-old Aja Hairston knows, mom is far away and counting the days until she comes home.
"I miss her with all my heart."
But mom is actually a lot closer than she thinks.
Aja and her classmates are excited to embark on their summer plans but Aja's excitement is about to go through the roof!!!
Because mom is right outside to surprise her.
Hairston, "I'm going to give her a hug and probably start crying."
She's seconds away from doing just that as Airforce Staff Sargeant Latoyal Hairston walks into Ms. Colbert's 2nd grade classroom.
"Mommy, mommy, mommy!"
"Hey pumpkin!! Mommy missed you so much!"
Hairston said, "Every time we talked, she told me how much she missed me. It pulls at your heartstring. It's a good day."
In the six months they've been apart, Mom has noticed a change.
"She's gotten taller. She's always been tall but she seems taller."
Mom asks, "It's the best last day of school, huh?"
Aja answers with a hug and doesn't let go as they walk through the hallway, out the door and to the car.