GRANITE CITY, Ill. - A family is reunited after a mom in the military surprised her son at his Granite City school. Airman First Class April Richardson just happened to come home for leave on her son's last day of school before winter break. So she asked the school if she could come straight to his classroom when she got into town. That's when the faculty at Frohardt Elementary came up with an idea to have an assembly.
At first, students thought it was just a normal holiday assembly, complete with singing and even Santa. So, 7-year-old Benjamin Richardson didn't quite know what to think when Santa called on him to come up and tell him his Christmas wish.
"I had no idea why he picked me," said Ben.
Ben also had no idea that his wish was about to come true.
"He asked me what I want for Christmas. I said, 'For mom to come home.' And she just came right out," said Ben.
Then, for the first time in five months, Benjamin got to hug his mom.
"I really missed her," he said.
It's been hard for Ben's mom too.
"Definitely one of the most trying times I've had," said April Richardson.
Richardson has been training in Texas, unable to come home for nearly half a year.
"Just everyday things he does, missing out on that, it just hits me harder than I thought it would," she said.
But it also made the reunion that much sweeter.
"When I saw the look on his face it hit me, it hit me hard how much I missed him," said April.