Emotional video footage shows the moment a soldier mother and her teenage daughter reunite in Sacramento, California, after six months apart.
Captain Erika Woodson was serving a three-year duty in Anchorage, Alaska, when she returned home to Sacramento on May 14 to surprise her daughter, Jada McGee, as she neared the finish line after running a 4X100 meter relay race.
Reports said Woodson had not been able to see her daughter run in any races at Edward Harris Junior Middle School that year, but said she was determined to be at the championship race.
“I couldn’t even sit in the chair that was there for me. I needed to be able to jump up and run to the finish line at her lane,” Woodson said.
“As they lined up, all kinds of emotions and questions ran through my mind: Was this a good idea? What if she sees me and I become a distraction? Was I making the right decision? I was more nervous than she was and she was the one running the race,” she commented.
As her daughter neared the finish line, onlookers cheered as Woodson opened her arms to embrace the daughter she had not seen since January.
“From that moment that she knew it was me, she really turn up the heat. That moment that she ran into my arms was indescribable,” Woodson recalled.
Her daughter said the special moment with her mother was “exciting,” adding, “My friends tell me that the video is cute. I’ve even received message asking if I’m the girl in that track video!”
A similar video posted online Wednesday shows the reunion between a mother and her son, Sgt. Christopher Williams, who recently returned from a 7-month deployment in Afghanistan.
Cameras caught the moment he surprised his mother, who is a trolley driver for Sightseeing Savannah Tours in Savannah, Georgia.
“Ahhh! My baby’s home!” she exclaims and runs to embrace him.
“I’m back!” Williams says to her while she hugs and kisses her son as those nearby watch.
The Georgia National Guard posted the video to Twitter on Friday, with a caption that reads, “SURPRISE MOM! I’M HOME! Sergeant Christopher Williams of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team surprises his mother at work after returning home from a 7-month deployment to Afghanistan.”