A fourth-grade girl got a sweet surprise when her military mom popped out of her school mascot's costume during class on Wednesday.
Brooke Herrell's class thought they were getting a visit from "Boomer the Bobcat" when all of a sudden the mascot removed its head and it was Brooke's mom, Katie Herrell, a Chief Warrant Officer with the U.S. Army, who had been stationed at Ft. Gordon, Ga., for the past four months.
"Brooke was kind of bummed about me not making the 9/11 ceremony that they did here," Katie said in a video made by the Blades Elementary School. "So I thought, well what better way to make it up to her by surprising her when I came home."
Herrell called her daughter's teacher and drove through the night to be at Brooke's school in time for the surprise during morning announcements on the 31st day of school.
Brooke and her mom shared big hugs at the tear-filled reunion in front of her class.
"There's been some times where I missed my mom," Brooke said. "There's been some times where I was happy that she's doing a good thing for the country."
"A lot of people think it's hard for the service members being gone all the time, but really it's the families back home that it's really the roughest part for," Katie said.