Michael Taylor was on the mission of a lifetime to give his mother Linda, who he hasn't seen in about a year, the best Christmas ever.
Michael, a Machinery Technician in the United States Coast Guard, has been on tour in Guam for about a year and a half. He was able to visit home for a week in the Spring. His father Tony visited him overseas for the Thanksgiving holiday, but he wanted to surprise his mom this Christmas.
"I was scared she was either going to fall backwards and faint. She was going to get up and clock me," said Michael. "I mean it's been a year since you've seen your mom, you have no clue what's going on. I was scared, just nervous what she was going to do."
Linda was attending her work's Christmas party at Runaway Bay Caribbean Grill in Panama City Beach. So, from the restaurant's kitchen, Michael, with his father, sister, and friends in tow walked out to surprise his mother.
"As long as she was screaming, she was breathing so we're good," said Michael. "But, she double looked at me [when I walked up]. It was perfect."
"I'm just overwhelmed," said Linda, nearly speechless but smiling.
After about four months of planning, almost blowing the secret a few times, and nearly 24 hours of traveling on Monday, Michael said he couldn't ask for a better surprise.
And, it's mission accomplished.
"I'm not supposed to see him until next June, and I haven't seen him since spring break this past summer. It's the best Christmas ever," said Linda.
Michael said he's looking forward to spending the holidays with his family and friends. He'll head back to Guam after the New Year and wrap up this tour in the summer.
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