Air Force sergeant surprises mom at Don Estridge Middle School in Boca Raton

Local airman has spent 15 years overseas
Posted at 5:36 PM, Nov 04, 2016

There's something about that morning ride to school that makes a kid feel nervous, or anxious.

Matt Szrejter shared every ride to middle school with his mom. Patricia Szrejter now teaches at Don Estridge High Tech Middle School in Boca Raton.

“I spent many hours in the vehicle with her, bonding closely,” he remembered.

The ride of life took Sgt. Matt Szrejter to the Air Force. He has spent the past 15 years living overseas, most recently in Japan. A spur of the moment training brought him back to the United States this week.

“I just hope she doesn't pass out,” Sgt. Szrejter said with a grin.

He never told his mom he was coming back to the U.S. Instead, he wanted to surprise her. He wanted to do something special to mark his mom’s last year teaching before her retirement.

“Oh my God, that's my son from Japan,” Patricia Szrejter screamed as her son walked into her classroom Friday morning.

It had been more than two years since this mother and son hugged. Mrs. Szrejter won't leave her son's side for the next three days before he returns to Japan.

“It’s just such a fabulous feeling because I don't get to see him very often,” she said.

“Because I’ve been overseas my whole entire career, it’s the small moments you have to live for,” Sgt. Szrejter said.

A small moment connected to so many memories. Now the family will ride home from school together again.