KURE BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- Many men and women sacrifice the comforts of home here in the states to protect our freedom overseas, and their families sacrifice precious time with their loved one. One local family is now reunited after a surprise homecoming.
"It's like Christmas," said David Gill, the husband of US Army Spc. Lyndsey Gill. "You got that big present. You buy that big present, and you want to give it to him but you can't."
David was finally able to give his son Cooper that big present: Cooper's mom is home from Kuwait. She surprised him during the Children's Fishing Tournament for military families at Kure Beach Saturday.
Lyndsey was deployed in February of this year. She says she's so happy to be home, but she admits she was a little nervous and anxious about the surprise.
"It's a lot. I mean, there's a lot that goes through your mind with it: all the changes and all the different stuff that you miss, so it's a lot, but it's definitely an exciting feeling," Lyndsey said.
"It just feels so good," Lyndsey’s mom Nancy Demuth said. "It's like you feel whole again to have your kid back and back home safe; back with her family, where she belongs."
Demuth and David Gill decided to surprise Cooper when they found out Lyndsey was coming home earlier than expected. Although she's home for a little while, David wishes Lyndsey would get to stay for good.
"It’s unbelievable," David said. "The stress, the sleepless nights, you know, the worrying, even though she's in a safe place. It's tough."
David said he couldn't do it without his dad and Lyndsey’s mom, but Demuth says Cooper is a source of strength, too.
"He's an amazing child, and I am Grandma, yes, but he is definitely amazing," Demuth said. "He helps his dad a lot. He helps me a lot. But he misses her tons."
The Gills are looking forward to just hanging out and having fun doing simple things like making dinner together and taking family pictures.
"Just being able to hug and kiss my family anytime I want and just being able to be there and watch them grow and the different things that they do and everything," Lyndsey said.
Lyndsey gets two weeks of R&R at home with her family before returning to Kuwait.
The Children's Fishing Tournament is an annual event, and just like every year, all the fishing supplies, bait, food and prizes were all provided by Step Up for Soldiers and their sponsors.