LEE CO., GA (WALB) - A Lee County first grader had no idea the surprise Wednesday would bring.
Amaya Hill, who attends Kinchafoonee Primary School, lined up with her class and several others, ready to perform a patriotic song they'd been practicing.
Amaya's mom, US Army Staff Sergeant Brittany Nelson, has been deployed in South Korea for a year.
"I deployed to Afghanistan 2011 to 2012, and we just did a normal celebration coming back," Nelson said of why she wanted to plan an elaborate surprise for her daughter.
Amaya said, though she didn't know she would reunite with her mom Wednesday, she knew something was up.
"I told her, you weren't answering the phone!" said Amaya.
"She's been trying to get in contact with me for two days," explained Nelson. "Two days we had to go without talking."
So, just a few seconds into the classes singing "The World's Greatest," Amaya's mom, dressed in her Army uniform, went into the cafeteria, with balloons blocking her face.
"I thought, Maya, she knows my uniform. She's able to spot me out," said Nelson. "But, when I called her name, Amaya, she just stood there. She just froze. And when I was like, 'Come, come!' She finally came."
Nelson said she missed Amaya's birthday and her kindergarten graduation over the last year, but this year, she won't miss anything now that she's home.
Nelson has a 30-day leave and will then be stationed at Fort Stewart.
Amaya and her mom said they planned to have a girls day after the reunion, complete with getting their nails done and, of course, Chick-fil-A.