The family of U.S. Army Private First Class Michael Nest received a special Christmas gift as the soldier surprised them by coming home from his deployment in South Korea.
PFC Nest told 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly that he had planned the surprise in advance and it was carried out at the Cataract Elementary School. It was there that the soldier's cousin, sister and nephew first found out that Michael Nest was home, and it touched off an emotional reunion. A private, surprise meeting with his mother was held later on.
Private Nest wanted to surprise his wife of six months, Carly, as well, but she found out in advance
For the family, it is a relief and great surprise because the private is stationed in South Korea as a military fueler. With tensions high on the Korean peninsula, PFC Nest and his family said they worry every time North Korea launches a missile because they wonder if it will start a war.
"It is always on your mind," said Ashley, his sister.
"The hardest part for me is going to sleep and wondering if it will start in the night," added Private Nest.
World tensions remain, but the Nest family said they plan to put them out of their minds, for a little while, to celebrate having everyone home for Christmas.
PFC Michael Nest has to return to South Korea on January 6th.
Reporter Ed Reilly was at the Cataract Elementary School for the surprise reunions.