ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. - On Thursday, December 16, as students at Carrsville Elementary School prepared to board a bus for home, a single bus approached carrying a special passenger.
Sandy Jones, a teacher at the school, received a wonderful gift — a surprise reunion with her son, Cpl. Bryce Jones of the United States Marines Corps.
In April, Bryce was stationed in Saudi Arabia from April to October and spent time during his tour in Afghanistan. After the mission, he returned to his duty station at Twentynine Palms, California.
Sandy was summoned to the bus and appeared confused as to why she was needed on the bus. As soon as she realized Bryce was home for the holidays, her confusion turned to tears and hugs.
"When he popped up from behind the seat, my heart just fell to my feet. I couldn’t even speak; I was just so excited,” Sandy said.
Bryce’s dad, Joe Jones, a teacher at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach, was in on the surprise and accompanied Bryce on the bus. Bryce was planning to be home next week but arranged an earlier flight, unbeknownst to his mother.
“[It] just makes you realize how blessed you are when you have something good to celebrate like this," Jones said.
Cpl. Jones will enjoy two weeks with his family before returning to his new duty station at Camp Pendleton after the holidays.