Local News

Sons bring Wendell mom shock and joy with early Christmas visit

Posted December 25, 2018 6:29 p.m. EST
Updated December 25, 2018 6:47 p.m. EST

— Kelly Bass says a surprise early visit from her Marine son was the best Christmas present this year. Her reaction of pure joy captured on video has been shared hundreds of times online.

"To me, it's family above everything. They are my greatest gifts. they really are," Bass said. "I'm a single parent. My boys have been pretty much my life."

When her youngest son, Josh Russell, joined the Marines and got stationed in Okinawa, Japan, it was extremely difficult for her and for his brother, Nick Russell.

"It was a big adjustment to be able to try to catch up with him and things like that," Nick Russell said.

Josh left for boot camp two weeks after graduating high school. He was in Japan for 10 months before deciding to surprise his mom and come home early for Christmas.

He conspired with his brother to plan the trip. "We really thought she was going to figure it out," Josh said.

He was supposed to fly in on Dec. 23.

"That is the date that I had in my head. At work, I had it marked on my calendar," Bass said. She was at work in Raleigh when Josh snuck around the corner.

"At first when I looked at him, it was like 'Is this real? Is this really happening?'" she said.

Bass says she was in complete shock and then overwhelmed with joy.

"Just to see him there standing there so handsome in his dress blues, and to see my other son there ..." she said.

They've had extra time to catch up, and the three were together for Christmas morning.

"I love it because I know that every Christmas won't be like this. I just try to cherish these moments," she said.

It's a Christmas present this mom will never forget, and a reaction that her boys will treasure forever.

Josh Russell will return to Okinawa after Christmas. His assignment there lasts another year and a half.