FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A military family in Fort Pierce got the surprise of a lifetime Thursday afternoon.
Jesus Plascencia is a U.S. Army specialist stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska. He flew home to spend Christmas with his mom, sister, and two nephews for the first time in four years.
"I’m hoping they are going to be happy to see me," said Plascencia. "They have been saying they’ve been wanting to see me for Christmas every year so we will see how that goes."
Plascencia actually missed his original flight home on Tuesday and that’s when his sister, Sandra, came up with the heartwarming homecoming.
She contacted the principal at Lakewood Park Elementary School who was in support of the idea and coordinated the Santa Clause disguise.
"I think a lot of our staff members have family in the military," said principal Dianne Young.
Holding a bowl full of candy canes and wearing a Santa suit over his army fatigues, Plascencia first stopped by Jacob’s 5th grade classroom where the tears were flowing as soon as he revealed himself behind the curly white beard.
“‘I missed you,” said Jacob Luna.
It was then off to Aiden’s kindergarten classroom where the kids were ecstatic to see Santa and receive candy.
“I’m excited and this is the best Christmas present I could ask for,” said Luna.
The two boys said the first thing they want to do with their uncle when they get home is play video games.
“I love my family and I’m just looking forward to that. It’s a wonderful time of year,” said Plascencia.