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Soldier Home From Kuwait Surprises Lunch Lady Mom

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(credit: CBS) Holly Wagner
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ANOKA, Minn. (WCCO) — A Minnesota mom’s holiday season will be a lot brighter after today. She got a huge surprise in the lunch line at school where she works.

Teresa Caldwell serves up hot meals for the students at St. Stephen’s Catholic School in Anoka.

She thought WCCO was there to do a story on school lunches. Her jaw dropped and she stood in disbelief as her son walked in and surprised her.

Sgt. Brian Thole was able to take two weeks leave while on duty in Kuwait with the Army National Guard. His mom had no idea he was coming home for Christmas.

“It was like I had to look again, I couldn’t believe it was him. I just mailed his Christmas cards, on my way here,” said Caldwell.

This is Thole’s third tour overseas. He’s been there since July. Thole is also a Minneapolis police officer and on the SWAT team.

Thole said his mother has had many sleepless nights with the work he does and he wanted to do something to show her how much he appreciates her support.

“I’m pretty proud of the life I’ve got right now and she’s the base of that, she’s the reason that I’ve got that,” he said. “She was a single mom and she raised my sister and me, and so everything we have, in my eyes, we owe to her. She’s done a great job.”

Thole also took time to thank students at St. Stephen’s for the notes and cards they send to soldiers serving in the military, and told them how it makes a big difference in their day.

He’s looking forward to spending time with family, relaxing and giving his nephew a Christmas mohawk which Thole said he does every year.

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