Restaurant helps soldier surprise mother

Restaurant helps soldier surprise mother

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - On Sunday, a Gulfport woman got the best birthday present imaginable.

Theresa Haden's son returned following six months of deployment, and thanks to family and friends, he was able to pull off a surprise homecoming.

"Pure excitement. It's great to see family after so long and to be able to enjoy it, nice day seeing them, surprise her and make her day," said Valentine.

Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Justin Valentine walked out of the kitchen at the Beach Boulevard Steamer carrying his mother's drink order.

Haden had no idea her son was back in town because he told her his deployment wasn't supposed to end until August or September.

"At first I thought maybe something was wrong because he was home. He's not supposed to be home for a couple of months, so I was in shock," Haden. "I was just glad my husband was next to me just in case I fell out of my chair."

With his second deployment now complete, Valentine expects to stay in Gulfport for the foreseeable future.

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