MIRAMAR, Fla. – Army Staff Sgt. Yasmin Jefferson is back home after being away on active duty for the past couple of months, which is never an easy time, especially for her young daughters.
So she decided to surprise Mikayla, 8, and Tatiana, 6, Wednesday at Sunset Lakes Elementary School.
"I always think about how they are doing. We talk on Skype and I always reassure them that everything is just fine," Jefferson.
Both girls were paired up for a reading exercise and had no idea what was going on when their mom walked in.
But when they saw their mother their eyes lit up and the tears started flowing. Mikayla's teacher, Holly Morales, got emotional too.
Morales grew up in the military and knows what it's like to have a parent away.
"You have to realize how traumatic this is, when the forms don't come back signed, or there is a parent-teacher conference and mom is not here," Morales said. "Their home life is out of kilter. Their lives are not like ours. A regular parent may get stuck in traffic, their parent may be in Iraq."
Mikayla turns 9 soon, so Jefferson brought cupcakes for the class to enjoy.
The birthday girl was all smiles, and although she is very shy, she understands what mom's time away is all about.
"She has to save other people," Mikayla said.
Jefferson said she is thankful for all the help her children receive when she is gone.
"They say it takes a community to raise children and I am so grateful," Jefferson said.