Mom Surprises Her Daughter By Visiting Her At Work After Returning From 11-Month-Long Deployment

Military deployment can be a stressful time for all involved. The uncertainty, the lack of contact, and the long periods of distance from loved ones; it all adds up. However, there comes a day when the wait is over and the desire to see one another again becomes reality. There are very few things in life that feel as good as hugging someone that you’ve been missing.

This story is just one example of it all. A mom and daughter that hadn’t seen one another for 11 months were finally brought together by the end of a deployment and a video caught the heartwarming moment. Let’s get into the story, little Pandas!

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A beautiful reunion of mother and daughter was filmed and shared for all of us to rejoice

Image credits: samcnorris

Samantha Norris is a first grade teacher at the Harmony School of Innovation, Austin, Texas. She was in her classroom, students walking around happily, getting ready for Math Lab, when an unexpected visitor stopped everyone in their tracks, making the teacher pull back her face mask in absolute disbelief.

Army Sgt. Tamie Norris was deployed overseas for 11 months and had finally come home, but her daughter had no idea

Image credits: samcnorris

Her mom, Army Sgt. Tamie Norris, had been serving in the U.S. Army overseas for nearly a year when she showed up at the school without prior warning to Samantha. Whilst she stood there in complete awe, her mother wasted no time getting to her daughter, giving her a warm hug.

Sam, overwhelmed with joy, got quite emotional and started crying. Now if this doesn’t pull at your heartstrings, I don’t know what will.

Samantha was getting ready to teach her first graders at the Harmony School of Innovation, Austin, Texas, when she noticed a visitor

Image credits: samcnorris

The realization and disbelief froze her in place as she saw her mom enter the classroom

Image credits: samcnorris

Her mom went up to Samantha and gave her a tight hug, the girl breaking down in shock

Image credits: samcnorris

Samantha told Good Morning America that her mom had spent the past 11 months deployed in Iraq and Jordan. During that time, she started her first teaching job at a charter elementary school in Austin, Texas. “We had always talked about decorating my first classroom together, but now she finally got to see it,” Sam said.

Samantha Norris’s students also got to witness the reunion firsthand, at first confused as to what was happening. At the very end of the video, the mom started waving at the curious crowd. Sam said they were “thrilled once they understood what was happening,” explaining that getting to meet her was an incredible experience, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Samantha, overcome with emotion, started crying, the realization sinking in that she was back in her mom’s arms

Image credits: samcnorris

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The class was very curious and excited to learn from Tamie, who brought doughnuts and read them a book

Image credits: samcnorris

Tamie not only paid her daughter a visit, but spent some time with the students, surprising them with doughnuts, letting them try on her Army gear and reading a book with them. Samantha believes that “seeing a strong woman in the military was a great girl-power moment. I even had one girl student say she wants to be ‘just like Ms. Norris’ mom’ when she grows up!”

The beautiful moment couldn’t have happened without the help of the school itself. John Boyd, Harmony Public Schools’ chief communications and marketing officer, said they were in on the surprise and were more than happy to help Sgt. Norris. They’re incredibly proud to have had the chance to organize, film, and enjoy the moment.

Sam shared the beautiful reunion on her Instagram account, writing in the caption: “11 months too long without giving my mom a hug. The best surprise, welcome home!!!” Hundreds of people have liked and commented on the post, sending their love to the family.

Deployment usually means a scheduled time away from the normal duty station, usually outside of the home country

Image credits: The U.S. Army

Look, I am a curious person and the Army, or its workings, is not something I’m too familiar with. So let’s do a shallow dive into what deployment is to get more of a sense of what they’ve had to go through. Why not a deep dive? Well, this would probably end up a 2000+ word essay and no one’s got time to read all of that.

According to, ‘deployment’ refers to activities required to move military personnel and materials from their homes to a specified destination – usually outside of their home country – including the preparations for pre and post deployment. Depending on the position held in the Army, the unit and service branch, the meaning of deployment and its process changes.

However, active Service Members, National Guard and Reserve members, as well as Individual Augmentee (IA) deployment, follow these cycles: Pre-deployment phase, Deployment phase, Post-deployment phase, Reintegration phase.

It’s common for missions to take months at a time, with limited communication available with loved ones

Image credits: The Monk

As described by Military One Source, deployment may mean seven months on a Navy ship, 12 months at a forward operating base or three months in a town with restaurants and shops they’d recognize back home. Sometimes the service member may serve in dangerous situations, but they are well prepared for the challenges they may face in their specific mission, which is where the Pre-Deployment phase comes in.

Each cycle is different, but an average deployment cycle will include months of training at their home base and at specialized courses, designed specifically for either Marine Corps deployment, Navy deployment, Air Force deployment, or other. The event tends to bring up a lot of feelings from both the service members and their loved ones, from excitement to nervousness.

It’s a difficult period of time for all involved, however, there are ways to remain calm and supportive, awaiting the day of the loved ones’ return

Image credits: The Monk

Military One Source recommends considering these three key things throughout the deployment cycle. The main one – don’t worry too much about the things you can’t control, but focus on those that you can. It may be daunting to see your family member off, but remembering that they’ve been trained and are well prepared for the mission can bring a bit of comfort.

Be prepared for things to never be certain, as training and deployments can be moved up, delayed or canceled altogether. Communication may be limited and the service member may not be able to answer certain questions, thus, support, understanding, and love are incredibly important to their wellbeing.

It may seem strange, but returning to “normal life” can be a stressful experience when you’ve been away from home for an extended period of time, living in a new normal. There are resources available for anyone struggling, but it can also act as a foundation for what to expect post-deployment. I will leave the information here for anyone curious or needing it.

We’re happy to see one family reunited and we hope they’ll have a lot time to spend together

Image credits: samcnorris

There’s something about the return of service members to their families that gets us feeling warm inside. The true feelings of happiness and relief cannot be understated and we’re hoping that many more people will have the chance to experience it. We wish the best for Samantha and Tamie, hoping that they’ll have a lot of beautiful time to spend together and catch up on everything that’s happened.

You can watch the heartwarming reunion here, just scroll to the second part of the original post


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A post shared by Samantha Norris (@samcnorris)

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Have you had a family member or loved one return from deployment? What was it like seeing them again? Otherwise, have a wonderful day, dear Pandas, and go hug your moms, or mother figures, or guardians!

People have been sending their love and praise. Have you had a loved one return from deployment? Let us know in the comments

The post Mom Surprises Her Daughter By Visiting Her At Work After Returning From 11-Month-Long Deployment first appeared on Bored Panda.


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