A military mother practiced the moment she would be able to hug her children whilst she was on deployment in Syria before ‘fighting back to tears’ as she was reunited with them.
Laura Strzelecki, 33, from lowa, headed off to training at Fort Bliss in Texas last year before heading to Syria for an eight-month deployment.
She kept dreaming of her reunion with her children, Grace, 13, Arnold, six, and Abigail, three, and decided to prepare for when she could wrap them in her arms.
The mother-of-three recently shared the footage, which saw her in multiple locations practicing an imaginary hug for the emotional moment she would be reunited with her kids at their home in Hawaii.
On September 25, Mrs Strzelecki, who is a sergeant E-5 with the Army National Guard, left Syria to surprise her children by coming home to see them.
As she boarded the plane, she said: ‘Just about to land – my kids don’t know. Let’s go surprise them!’
She is seen holding back tears as she gets ready to fly back to her home in Hawaii to finally experience the moment she has been waiting for
Mrs Strzelecki headed to the kids’ favorite store, Spirit Halloween in Aiea, for the reunion surprise she had been planning for ten months.
Ahead of the moment, Mrs Strzelecki said she was ‘fighting back tears’, before finally being able to walk towards her kids and hug them once more.
She later shared a video of the moment online and received an outpouring of positive messages from across the world
Speaking of the reunion, Mrs Strzelecki said: ‘The whole way home I had to fight back tears. ‘I kept almost breaking down at the airport and on each flight then on the drive to Spirit.
‘All that practice to find out my kids had grown so much while I was gone. ‘I couldn’t squat all the way down because they were now so tall. ‘It took a moment for them to realize it was me.
‘Watching their eyes get really big when it clicked made all the tears roll. My youngest had trouble squeezing in, but I carried her around the whole store