Huntington solider makes a surprise return home

HUNTINGTON, TX (KTRE) - Laura Dempsey spent Friday with familydecorating for her wedding.

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

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

Thomas says his mom wasn't expectinghim home until January.

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

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

Sherry Rawls helped her oldestgrandson pull off the surprise.

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

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

Dempsey describes holidays without herson as lonely and she plans to make the most of the time she has to spend withhim.

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

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

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

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

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