Veronica Velasquez arrived at school on Wednesday to pick up her fifth-grader, Jamie. But it was a very special surprise. Mom and daughter haven't seen each other in a year since Veronica was deployed to Afghanistan.
"I missed everything about her, her voice, and seeing her face. Every day," said Jamie.
"That was the first thing that came to my mind, was always my kids," said Veronica.
The surprise was planned by Victor Sosa, Veronica's sister's boyfriend, a college student who has helped take care of Jamie while her mom has been away. Jamie wasn't expecting her mother until next week.
"It's indescribable," said Victor. "Being away from someone you love with all your heart, a mom. She didn't even see the birth of her grandkid. That's why I wanted to do it so bad for her. I know the sacrifice personally from my family and just seeing the sacrifice from her family. It makes everything worth it."
That sacrifice for her country took the single mother of three halfway around the world. Her kids count the days to see her again.
Veronica is back for two weeks and then heads to base in New York. She has another year and a half of military service, and then hopes to see her kids grow up -- not via Skype, but in person.
"Birthdays, holidays, pretty much I missed everything for a whole year," said Veronica. "It's time that I can't really make up, but just spend more time with them."