RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA (CBSLA.com) — A Tesoro High School junior accepting an award on behalf of his brother, who’s stationed overseas, was stunned Friday when the soldier surprised him.
The award for U.S. Army Pfc. Kristopher Bailey, who chased down a fleeing suspect, was presented by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and accepted by Wyatt Bailey during his fifth-period biology class.
Wyatt stood in as he assumed his brother was thousands of miles away.
As the 17-year-old Wyatt looked toward one classroom door, his brother sneaked in another door in a plan hatched by his mother.
The pair hadn’t seen each other for more than a year and a stunned silence and lots of tears followed.
“It was so cute,” said Jasmine Tilmaz, a Tesoro High School student. “I always see it on Vine, the military guys surprise their family members, and it was so emotional.”
Wyatt thought he wouldn’t see Kristopher until his leave in April.
“I miss him so much. I told him every day. I message him on Facebook, ‘I miss you. Please come back home,’ ” Wyatt said.
“It’s just good to see family. I mean, like I said, my mother planned this all,” the private said. “I’m surprised that they brought the news channels out.”
Kristopher has been gone 14 months and says he has so much catching up to do with his family. He’ll be home for 15 days.