US Army soldier Ralea Scott surprises young daughter after returning home


A US Army soldier surprised her young daughter at her school trip Friday after returning from an overseas deployment in an emotional reunion captured on video.

Eight-year-old Harlem Scott received a better gift than anything that could fit under a Christmas tree when she ran into the arms of Army Spc. Ralea Scott inside the Lafon Arts Center in Luling, Louisianna last week.

The second-grader was “randomly” picked to invite a special guest on stage, only to realize the esteemed visitor was her own mother who just got back from a nine-month deployment in the Middle East.

“Mommy!” she exclaimed the moment she saw Ralea, who still had her Army fatigues on with a teddy bear in tow, according to the footage.

As the two tightly hugged and cried, the entire auditorium filled with Harlem’s classmates at St. Charles Public Schools erupted in raucous cheer.

The surprise happened during a field trip. St. Charles Parish Public Schools
Harlem Scott ran right to her mother when she saw who it was. St. Charles Parish Public Schools

“I couldn’t stop crying,” Allemands Elementary School principal Lisa Perrin told “It was so rewarding to know that she probably got the one thing in the world she was praying for for the holidays.”

Ralea, who joined the Army directly after graduating high school in 2013, worked as a mechanic in Jordan and Kuwait, the newspaper reported.

She typically is only away from home for three weeks at a time – not nine months.

The warm embrace was videotaped Friday. St. Charles Parish Public Schools

“In the beginning, she was sad,” Ralea, 28, told the outlet of her daughter. “She kept wondering when I was coming home.”

While the pair kept in touch over Facetime calls and texts, Ralea knew she wanted to surprise Harlem once she knew what her return date was.

The heartwarming moment was planned to take place before a performance by The Lightwire Theater.

Ralea’s mother, Dawn Scott, who cared for her granddaughter during the deployment, was also surprised when she saw Ralea back in town.

School officials called Dawn to come to the arts center, claiming her granddaughter wasn’t feeling well. But when she arrived, she saw her daughter and granddaughter flashing wide smiles.

As Dawn wiped away her tears, she gave Ralea a warm embrace, reported. And then Harlem also joined in on the emotional embrace. 

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