(KETK)- A family shed happy tears this week after they were reunited with a loved one they haven’t seen in a long time.
Tobie Herring, a Lance Corporal with the United States Marine Corps, had not been around all of his family in more than a year and a half.
On Monday, Tobie received help from his step-mom Lindsey to surprise his family at Quitman ISD.
He was first reunited with his dad John Herring, who is a math teacher, in his classroom right before lunch, and it was emotional.
“I never thought I was going to be able to come home like that and be a totally changed person. It’s a surreal experience for me,” said Tobie. “Sometimes I just don’t think it’s real. I think it’s all a dream that I get to come home like this.”
Tobie also stopped by his sister Elizabeth’s AP English class, and she was also excited to see her brother, wrote Quitman ISD.
He later surprised his youngest sibling, Millie, and she broke into happy tears and jumped from her seat to hug him.
“She’s been watching those homecoming videos and all she wanted was for her big brother to come home and surprise her, and she got her wish,” said John. “She was just overcome with joy, like you could not believe. She could not speak. She could hardly even breathe.”
Tobie enlisted in USMC in 2019, and he graduated from boot camp on March 14, 2020. But, his family had to cheer him on from home and watch the ceremony online, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The young Lance Corporal was not home for the past two Christmases, so the family received a sweet and long-awaited surprise from Tobie.
Tobie is based in Camp Pendleton in California as an Aviation Rescue Firefighter. He will be home until March 16.
“Special thanks to Lindsey Herring and Tobie Herring for allowing QISD to be a part of such a special reunion! We are so happy for you all!” QISD wrote.