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After waiting nearly 1 1/2 years to see her only son serving in the military, a Stuart mother got a big surprise Wednesday at dinner.
Pvt. First Class Justin Yenn of Stuart hasn't been home since he joined the Army as a mechanic based in Hawaii.
"I'm so looking forward to this. I've been looking forward to this since I booked the flight here," Yenn said. "It's great to be in the military, but being away from home kind of sucks, but you push through it."
While waiting outside the restaurant to for his mother to arrive at dinner, he explained he hadn't slept in nearly 24 hours.
It was worth the 22-hour flight, multiple connections and lack of sleep to see the surprise on his mother's face.
"She's my best friend. She's amazing. She's been there for me through thick and thin."
The two talk on the phone almost daily, Yenn says. Tuesday, he told her he would be working "in the field" and wouldn't be able to talk. "I didn't want to ruin the surprise."
His mother, Kelly Beans, thought she was going to dinner at Twisted Tuna to celebrate her step-daughter getting a new job.
Yenn had other plans.
Once Beans put in a drink order, Yenn would be the one to bring it to her table.
"My heart is racing right now," Yenn said.
His family, in on the secret, followed him to the table. Beams screamed with excitement and cried. The two hugged, while family welcomed him home.
"This is the best surprise ever," Beans said. "I was like.. he's really here? I could not believe it. They really did well hiding this from me because I usually know everything that goes on in the family," Beans laughed.
She wasn't expecting to see him until May.
This early homecoming makes the holidays feel extra special for their family.
"Best Christmas ever," Beans said.
Yenn returns to Hawaii on Jan. 2. He plans on spending time with his mother and family. He also wants to pay a visit to veterans at the nursing home where his mother works.
Scripps Only Content 2016