SOUTH EUCLID – The last day before Christmas break is always filled with excitement and anticipation, but it reached a new level inside a first grade classroom at Sacred Heart of Jesus Academy in South Euclid.
Paratrooper Private First Class Michael Chapman, home on a 2 week holiday leave from Alaska, planned a special surprise for his 7-year old sister, Sophia.
“My sister didn't know I was here, so I thought it would be a good way to surprise her,” Chapman said. “I like to say she's like my little clone.”
As Sophia made her way through the cafeteria line for lunch, Chapman popped out from a doorway for the surprise. Her smile and hug said it all.
“I didn’t even know he was going to be here!” she said. “I’m so happy I almost could cry.”
After months apart, Sophia’s Christmas wish came true. The family said they’ll enjoy the time together, while remembering other families whose loved ones are away.
“I'm very fortunate to be with my family,” Chapman said. “I just want to make sure everyone else doesn't forget the people that are overseas right now are not with their families today.”
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