One family in Angelina County is already celebrating one of the best Christmas seasons yet. Two children woke up Christmas Eve morning to see that Santa had brought their mother back home after serving in the military in Iraq for almost a year.
5-year-old Kendall Sherrod wrote a letter to Santa Claus with just one wish, for his mom to come home from war. Christmas Eve morning, Kendall got that wish.
"I was so excited... Just cried, cried, and cried. Put bows on our heads and sat here on the couch waiting for Kendall to come down," said Staff Sergeant Tina Sherrod. "He wasn't sure. Is this really happening? And then I popped up and said 'Merry Christmas' and he jumped up on our laps and we both cried."
"I'm overjoyed, I'm overwhelmed. It's been like a fairy tale come true. As children we see fairy tales and we think 'Oh, I just wish.' To live an actual Christmas miracle, that's a blessing," said Elizabeth Futch, Sherrod's mother.
For the past 9 months, Staff Sergeant Tina Sherrod has served as a communications specialist in Iraq. While being away from her children and husband has been difficult, Sherrod knows her job is important. And she considers it an honor to her family. Both of her grandfathers served in the military before her.
"Both my grandfathers, they're Vietnam and Korean War Veterans. So I can come home and look at them and have a sense of self-pride and history and tradition with them. Knowing that I can come home and they're still going to enjoy everything that I've gotten to enjoy... And then the kids in Iraq. They have a better chance to enjoy the same things that these two are going to enjoy. Maybe they won't have to fear someone kicking in their door because they didn't pay enough to stay safe that month. So it's definitely worth it," explained Sherrod.
But Tina and her mother both say this reunion for their families is bittersweet.
"I get the best Christmas present of all, because their is a lot of soldiers who don't get to be with their families right now," said Sherrod.
"There's so many moms who aren't as joyous as I am today. So many moms who'll never see their children again, but yet they're proud because they're standing up for their country for what we believe in and supporting our soldiers and what our country believes in," added Futch.