12/20/2014

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Yakima soldier surprises family by coming home for Christmas

Yakima soldier surprises family by coming home for Christmas
YAKIMA, Wash. -- There's no question some Christmas presents are better than others. And then there are those that fall under the category of..priceless.

With the holidays upon us, the Hernandez family went to McClure Elementary School to watch their daughter Sophia sing in the school's Christmas program.

All her family was there except one, her uncle Jose Hernandez. He's been stationed in Afghanistan for the past nine months.

Little did they know, but the Hernandez family was about to receive the one thing that was on the top of all of their Christmas lists this year, for Jose to come home.

It's something they feared might not happen when Jose suffered a traumatic brain injury earlier this year from an IED explosion. The injury left him deaf in one ear, but it didn't take away his drive. And by drive, he left his base in Georgia, and drove across the country to make this surprise come true.

His sister Daisy was the only one in on it, and she coordinated with the school to make sure everything was just right.

A surprise to the whole family, making it a truly Merry Christmas. As mother gets her son back...

"Oh I can't tell you how happy I am, very very happy, very nice surprise to celebrate the holidays, yes, yes I'm so thankful he's home safe," said Maria Hernandez, Jose's mother.

And one happy little girl couldn't even believe it when she saw it.

"I was thinking it couldn't be my uncle, he looked so different," said Sophia Carrillo, Jose's niece.

They didn't find it under the tree, but Christmas came early for the Hernandez family as they got the best gift of all.

"Priceless I mean nothing like it, I haven't seen her in a year and its nice to come home and be able to see the family," said Jose Hernandez.

Jose Hernandez is a Private First class in the Army. He was born and raised in Yakima, and a Davis High School graduate.
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