Six months overseas, 178 days without his family, and a plan brewing since May.
Master Sergeant Tom Cruz, has been with the U.S. Army for 22 years and hopes this deployment will have been his last.
So, he wanted to make a splash.
“I wanted to make this one special somehow for them and if this is my last deployment, then I want to make sure it's a memorable one,” Master Sergeant, Cruz said.
Home two days early, Cruz picked a spot his wife and two children would have never guessed he would be; Legoland.
The family had been tricked into going to Legoland, a close friend told Heather Cruz she had won a trip to Legoland and invited the Cruz family.
Instead, during a waterworks show, Legoland and Master Sergeant Cruz had orchestrated a grand surprise, one that still has his wife stunned.
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They said his name and they said Tom Cruz, and we were like? We realize that, that was an Army uniform and we shouldn’t be seeing someone in the Army in the show and then it hits us, and it happened so fast but I was like ‘oh my gosh, that our Tom!’” Heather Cruz said, with a huge smile on her face.
The soldier’s wife let us in on a little secret, that the Master Sergeant isn't very good at keeping secrets from his wife, but somehow managed it for two months.
“Hoping she wasn't going to be too mad later on when the excitement wore off, that I was in earlier,” Cruz said.
And his wife couldn’t be farther from mad. She and her two children said they’ve waited 176 days for their dad to return, and finally he’s home.
“I’m just glad to be back,” Cruz said.
U.S. Army Master Sergeant, Tom Cruz came home just in time for the couple’s sixth wedding anniversary.