Army mom surprises her children at school with an unexpected visit - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Army mom surprises her children at school with an unexpected visit

Updated:

December 6, 2007

Fitzgerald--Two Fitzgerald kids are waking up this morning with someone very special in their home, their mother.  For the past fifteen months, Specialist Lisa Fulford of the U-S Army, has been in Iraq.  On a secret mission months in the making, she arrived home yesterday and surprised them in school.

For 9-year-old, Kayla Mansfield, Christmas came a lot earlier this year.

"Surprise!" says her mom.

This year her present is having her mom home for the holidays. It's been a year since Kayla's seen her in person.

"Don't cry. It's okay," says Fulford.

Kayla's mom does mechanic work in Iraq.   "I work on small tanks, but I mostly crossed trained in working on humvees and wreckers," she says.

Fulford admits it's not easy living her two small children to live with their grandmother while she's busy serving the country.

 "It's hard. It's hard.  It's something you don't every get used to," says Fulford.

Especially when they're growing up so quickly--and she's not there to watch.  "You're almost as tall as I am," she tells her daughter.

And more surprises were in store. After visiting Kayla at Ben Hill Elementary, it was time to see her son over at the primary school.

"Hey, little man!" says Fulford.

Like his sister, this is Seth's first time seeing his mother face to face in about a year. "You're shaking. I know, I'm excited to see you," says Fulford.

"I look at my daughter with all the pride and admiration for what she's done with her life. She's doing this for their future but she also does it for the rest of us here in the US," says Sheila Carswell, Fulford's grandmother.

Carswell kept their mother's return home secret for three months--something that wasn't easy for her to do.  "Every body knows I can't keep a secret for nothing," she says.

But it was a secret worth waiting to reveal.   "I'm glad to be home," says Fulford.

And Lisa plans to take advantage of every minute she has with her kids before she returns overseas.  "we're just going to stay at home, stay home and spend quality time together," says Fulford.

Fulford has about a month to spend with a children.   On January 4th she'll head back overseas, this time to Germany.