U.S. Airman returns home after nearly one-and-a-half years

U.S. Airman returns home after nearly one-and-a-half years
Updated: May. 2, 2018 at 5:35 PM CDT
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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas family has been reunited after nearly a year and a half apart.

Josh Holmes joined the U.S. Air Force in July of 2016. He was 18 years old. In the time since, he's attended basic training and then was stationed in Great Falls, Montana. Since enlisting, he has only come home once, in December of 2016.

Today he made it back home again and surprised his mother, a kindergarten teacher at Bonner Elementary School.

Lisa Smith, Josh Holmes's mother, said "I couldn't believe it. I was just (in) total shock. … When I saw him, I just couldn't believe he was standing there."

Holmes accomplished the surprise with the help of family, friends, the staff at Bonner Elementary School and a white lie. Holmes initially told his mother he would be home in early May, but then "I told her some paperwork got lost and it would be almost the end of May before I got to come home."

He said his mother was upset he wouldn't be in town for Mother's Day. However, after driving from Montana to Texas for the surprise, they will get to spend the day together after all.

Holmes will be in East Texas for about a month before his next deployment. His next assignment will be overseas where he will be stationed for one year.

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