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Hometown Hero surprises mom with early return

PAXTON -- It's the kind of surprise any mother wants.
PAXTON -- It's the kind of surprise any mother wants. Her child to come home early after not seeing them for months. But this week's Hometown Hero snuck home from being deployed overseas for a whole year.

Her mom had no idea. And they even caught it on video. WCIA-3's Amanda Porterfield has the story.

Jacinda Milichek has watched this moment about a dozen times and still has to hold back tears.

"Don't cry."

"I'm not crying."

Locked in a hug, holding her daughter, Sable, after not seeing and hardly talking to her for a whole year.

"I, honest to God, couldn't believe it. I was in total shock. I couldn't believe that she was home, that she was right there. I was hugging her, I was holding her."

"There are so many emotions that were going on, the main one was excitement and being happy to be home and hug my mom, seeing the rest of my family."

Family Sable Moreau missed while deployed to Korea. She's only 23, but she's been in the Air Force for six years.

"It's kind of a calling."

A calling nearly everyone in her family has answered, including her mom.

"She's gone out and has, in my mind, done more with her 23 years than what I have done with my life. I am so proud of her for that."

Serving her country has been Moreau's dream since she was a little girl. In the past year, she's learned a lot.

"I learned a lot about myself, had new challenges happen, learning you can be away from your family and come back stronger. It makes you learn what you can accomplish and what you can handle."

Perhaps the hardest thing to handle was missing family.

"Being over there and not being able to call family was difficult."

Especially during the holidays.

"Being over there and only having your military family, you make the best of it, but it's just not the same. You long for the big turkey feast and random family contests. Just realizing how they live over there and how we live here and realizing how much you take for granted until you're over there."

So, with a little help, she spent three months cooking up a plan to surprise her mom by coming home early.

"I can't believe she had my friend in on it, my brother, my boss, everybody knew about it except for me!"

"I've been trying to trick her. She would bring it up and try to figure it out."

After years of trying,

Sable says hearing her mom finally say, "She punked me!" makes waiting a year to see her that much more special. Sable came home for two weeks then moved to her new home in the U.S. where she'll be stationed for some time.
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