Christmas miracles come in all forms. For one family, it came in the surprise arrival of their U.S. Army soldier brother and son. Pvt. Tyrel Miller, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, is stationed in Germany so he hadn’t seen his family since May. And they definitely weren’t expecting him to walk into the restaurant where they were dining this week. But with a little planning and a little secret-keeping, that’s exactly what happened. And it was all captured in a sweet video.
Over the course of a couple months, Miller and his mother, Michelle, planned the surprise visit. She was so excited – but she never slipped and told anyone, making the surprise that much sweeter.
“It feels amazing to have all my children under one roof again,” Michelle Miller tells PEOPLE. “I am surely blessed.”
She goes on to add:
“We were gonna go to South Carolina to see his graduation in January,” she told WLUK news in Green Bay. “So that’s what today was about ’cause he was supposed to call us. That’s what they thought.”
The Road to Making it Happen
After collecting her son from the airport, Michelle and Tyrel made the anxious drive to where the family was meeting in a restaurant.
And Tyrel was grateful for the moment as well. There were plenty of emotions swirling around as he entered the establishment.
“It gets hard, because you’re away from home. Especially for every other holiday,” he says. “You’re missing the birthdays, everything and watching the family grow up. So that’s the hardest part,” he added. “Being here with the family is really good.”
Family Reacts to Soldier’s Homecoming
WLUK’s Nick Harrington captured the moment and posted the special video clip on Twitter. Take a look below:
In the heartwarming video, family members immediately get emotional when they see Tyrel. Several express tears of joy as they embrace their returned soldier.
Further, Tyrel’s uncle Don said the encounter was extremely special to him. He’s a veteran of the armed forces as well.
“I’ve been in the military myself for 20 some years, and you see the uniform, right away you pick up on it, ‘Oh hey, something special is happening,’ right? And for us it was because he hadn’t been home in a long time, so we’re good for that,” he said. “For his mom, especially, and for his aunts and nieces that are here,” he said.
The family members are seen cheering, crying and then getting up to hug Tyrel. The moment is definitely tear-inducing, so grab the tissues as you watch. However, it’s safe to say that no matter what Santa is bringing the Miller family this year, they all got an early gift to remember.