Huntington solider makes a surprise return home - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Huntington solider makes a surprise return home

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Laura Dempsey spent Friday with family decorating for her wedding.

Dempsey hasn't seen her son Phillip for a year and a half but that all changed on the eve of her wedding "He has already told me he wasn't going to be here," said Dempsey.

Her son Phillip Thomas came home for the holidays on Thursday, he serves in the Navy on the USS Fitzgerald in Japan.

Thomas says his mom wasn't expecting him home until January.

"They allowed those of us who had scheduled to go home during this period to go home even though we had a shorter time," said Thomas.

"I'm ok with that, I get to see him," said Dempsey.

Sherry Rawls helped her oldest grandson pull off the surprise.

Rawls says having him here will make her daughter's wedding day complete and the holiday season a little brighter.

"She's just glad to have her kids around and it's kind of sad to not have him here," said Rawls.

Dempsey describes holidays without her son as lonely and she plans to make the most of the time she has to spend with him.

"We won't have a lot of time but we're going to have Christmas dinner on the 25th like we always do and he'll get to be here," said Dempsey.

Thomas says a change of pace will be nice for a few days and quality time with family is the perfect Christmas gift.

"It's really high tempo where I'm stationed and this is going to take away a lot of stress," said Thomas. And give him and his family a Christmas they'll remember for a lifetime.

Thomas will spend Christmas with his family and the return to Japan on the 26th.

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