Military mother surprises Mowat Middle School son

LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - After being deployed for ten months, a mother enlisted in the United States Navy surprised her son at Mowat Middle School Monday.

"I'm nervous, but I'm excited, and I'm just ready to have him in my arms," Chasmine Banks, Petty Officer 3rd Class, said.

She said she was deployed for ten months in West Africa.

"I've been gone for almost a year, so I went on a deployment in 2013 and '14 and I was going to surprise my son then, but my mom passed away and I ended up coming home early, so he knew I was coming home. So, this is to make up for it," she said.

This was her second deployment.

Phone calls, messaging, and texting apps served as her tools to stay in contact with her son, Gabriel.

"Well, I'm shaking. Like, I haven't seen him in seven months, so February 6th was the last time I saw my son and apparently he's grown a lot since I left," Banks said.

Her son was in for a surprised during what seemed like a normal day of class. She said the surprise was in the works since before her second deployment.

Although appearances may have changed, like Gabriel's height, the emotional connection remains the same.

"Never give up on family," Gabriel, 11, said.

He said his favorite part about his mom is her service in the Navy.

"He's my life. He's my world. I do this for him. This is why I'm in this uniform," Banks said.

She also visited another Mowat student, Angel, during her class. Banks told us although they are not blood-related, Angel is like family.