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Friday, September 30, 2016

A Soldier’s Surprise Return to His Mom

For a pre-kindergarten teacher at Alice Ponder Elementary School, her day of usual lessons and activities turned into the best surprise she could have asked for. Lynne Sluder had no idea that her son, who had been deployed overseas for months, would come home and surprise her in her classroom.

“I was gone for about seven months,” said Owen Thompson, a U.S. Marine and Mansfield High School graduate. “I was part of what’s called a Marine Expeditionary Unit. I went to Hong Kong and a few of the Middle Eastern countries. I know it’s not the easiest thing for a mom.”

Sluder (left) said she hasn't seen her son in almost two years,
and they only talked on the phone a few times.
Thompson, his wife and his two children walked into Sluder’s classroom for the big reveal. When Sluder turned around to see who was at the door, all she could do was scream with excitement.

“I saw him once in the last almost two years,” said Sluder as she fought to hold back tears. “[Surprising me] was such an incredible and thoughtful thing for him to do.”

Sluder added that she is proud of her son for the decision he made to serve our country, and she is actually welcoming back two heroes.

“[Owen’s wife Rashell] has blessed Owen’s life, and that’s all a mother-in-law could ever ask for. I’m proud of both of them because military life is hard for families."

The teacher said she can’t wait to catch up with her son and daughter-in-law and spend time with her grandchildren.