NJ Soldier Returns, Surprises Mom For Christmas - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

NJ Soldier Returns, Surprises Mom For Christmas

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BRICK TOWNSHIP, NJ -

A New Jersey mother got an unexpected gift this Christmas.

She thought she would be spending the holidays thousands of miles away from her son, who was deployed in Afghanistan but on Christmas Eve, he gave her a surprise she'll never forget.

At Ocean Medical Center, Army Specialist Travis Ruggiero dressed as Santa to fool his unsuspecting mother.

"This year was different, 'cause she was like, 'All I Want for Christmas is for you to be home,'" Travis said.

Travis's mom, Leslie, is a nurse in the maternity ward at the medical center. She's used to pleasant surprises but she had no clue about this one.

"I'm so incredibly thankful for all the love and support that you've given me throughout this entire deployment. I will never forget it, or how blessed I am for having such a wonderful and caring mother," Travis said.

"Christmas for me is family. So it changes everything for me," Leslie said.

Travis will have a 21 day leave before he has to head back to Fort Knox, Kentucky and onto his next assignment.

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