Soldier drives hundreds of miles to surprise East Texas family

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For months, the Brown family has been traveling all over the country from one military post to the other.

The family hasn't seen their loved ones since March and with only eight hours to spare, they decided to make a surprise pit stop in Lufkin.

"I missed you so much,"said Leslie Brown, the mother of soldier Justin Brown.

It was an emotional reunion for Leslie Brown as she wrapped her arms around her son Justin for the first time since May.

"I had to leave him out there and come home without him and that was hard, "Leslie said.

Justin and his family left Lufkin nearly 7 months ago for Fort Houston, Virginia where Justin was in training to become a PV2 in the U.S. Army.

It has been a long road for the family of four who hasn't seen the rest of their family since they day they left. Until Justin's wife, Heather, got an idea up her sleeve.

"We've been telling everybody were on the way to Washington so everybody thinks we're in the middle of the country," Heather Brown said.

Justin's grandma Addie Capps suffered from a stroke recently and says she was afraid she was never going to get to see her grand baby again.

"All I've been through the past two weeks it's just been like, don't know. I just don't know," Capps said.

Friday night was the first time Justin got to see his brand new nephew and niece and family members say they just can't believe Justin is home.

"I was going to call him and gripe at him for not stopping by but I guess I don't have to now," Justin's dad, Willie Brown, said.

Heather says it took her about three weeks to come up with the plan, but that wasn't the only surprise. Justin even surprised Heather's family.

"I did not know they were driving all night long to come here to surprise us," Veronica Rice, Heather Brown's mom, said.

"We are so glad to have him home if just for a few days," said Dorothy Grantham, Heather's grandma.

"The mother of the daughter did not know the whole family was coming," Eddie Grantham, Heather's grandpa, said.

Justin who is a man of few words said that he actually didn't know about the surprise until earlier today and said the best part was...

"Seeing my mom and dad's face," Justin Brown said.

The Browns are in town for only 8 hours and they will then head to Fort Lewis, Washingtn where they will be based for four years.

Heather says Justin will be deployed next year but they do not know when or where.

Copyright 2013 KTRE. All rights reserved.