LAKE WORTH, Fla. - Soldier Ian McIntee was on a secret mission Saturday night in South Florida. He came all the way from Afghanistan to his home town of Lake Worth for it.
Ian's mother, Holly McIntee, thought her son would be home on R and R, or rest and relaxation, next month. She was in for a big surprise Saturday night.
"I think I pulled it off pretty good," the 20-year-old soldier said, about not giving the secret away.
Holly was dining in Dave's Last Resort & Raw Bar in downtown Lake Worth around 7:30 p.m. She thought our crew was filming a story about recycling. She had no clue Ian was on his way.
"She's gonna freak," Ian said. "I know that much."
Doug, Ian's grandfather, called Holly. She was expecting her dad to meet with her at the restaurant.
"Okay. See you in five," Doug told her.
Ian peeked around our news van toward Dave's. He bobbed his leg in excitement. His grandpa told him to slow down because he was walking too fast on the way to the restaurant.
Ian slid in the front door, glided over to his mom's table, and covered her eyes with his hands. She removed them, wondering what was going on.
Then Ian casually said, "Hi, mom."
The pair embraced, entangled in pure joy.
The customers of the restaurant burst into applause. Holly started crying. As for what she was feeling, we'll never really know.
"I'm speechless. I don't know," she said, tears glistening in her eyes.
Some things are so awesome they just can't be described.
"I love my mama," Ian said, as he squeezed her tight.
Ian will be home in Lake Worth for two weeks, before he returns to Afghanistan.