Soldier Dressed as Santa Surprises Mom

Friday, Dec 27, 2013  |  Updated 12:21 PM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

advertisement

A 29-year-old Army soldier serving in Afghanistan secretly came home for the holidays to New Jersey and surprised his mother at her company Christmas party by dressing up as Santa.

Travis Ruggiero didn't tell most of his relatives that he was coming home, going so far as to stay with cousins and sneaking around town for two days so as not to ruin the surprise.

He rented a Santa suit and showed up at the work party for his mother, Leslie Ruggiero, a nurse in a maternity ward.

His mother, not knowing she was standing right in front of her son, was handed a card and became emotional as she read it.

"It's from my baby," she exclaimed.

"And where is he?" asked another person at the party, apparently in on the ruse.

Photos and Videos

Soldier Surprises Daughter, Meets Son For the First Time

Staff Sergeant TJ Black surprises his daughter and meets his son for the first time after being deployed overseas.
More Photos and Videos

"Afghanistan," she said, weeping, and not noticing her son behind her, taking off his Santa hat, hair and beard. 

Then she turned and saw her son. The room erupted as they embraced.

The Ruggieros later appeared on the "Today" show, where Leslie Ruggiero said she was "still in awe that he pulled this off."

"He's been away from home for years but always made that effort to be with family for Christmas," she said.

Travis Ruggiero said he had "a couple of close calls" before the surprise, but was proud to have made it work.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
FlyeredUp: Win 2 Tickets to Flyers Playoff Game
Win two tickets to the first 2014... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out