Talk about a family reunion. Valerie Burns hadn’t seen brother Sergeant Brian Rodriguez since he left for a yearlong tour with the National Guard.
Upon his return, Sergeant Rodriguez, with help from older brother Jon, decided to surprise Valerie where she’d least expect to see him: a local Hobby Lobby. He covertly followed her and her three children – Conner, 7, Lily, 3, and Elaine, 1 – to a Hobby Lobby in Huntsville, Alabama, while Jon recorded everything on his phone.
Valerie says she has always been very close to her little brother.
“I used to see him in the halls at school and sneak him into my classes – he used to come with me everywhere I went,” she said of Brian.
“When I had my first child, he was there rubbing my head as I gave birth, after my husband passed out on the couch.”
In the video below, the brothers sneak through the store until they hear their sister’s voice. Jon then distracts her with a surprise greeting on one side of the aisle as Sergeant Rodriguez appears on the other side, just behind her. Valerie raises her own phone, upon which she appears to be FaceTiming with the trio’s mother, and sees a familiar, uniformed figure in the rear camera.
The reunion is as tearful as you’d expect. The siblings hug tightly until Valerie’s oldest son gets down to the really important business — informing his uncle that he has a level 76 Charizard Pokémon card.
According to Caters News, Valerie says she nearly blacked out from the shock of the surprise reunion, which came a full month before she was expecting him home.
“I was in complete shock, first to see Jon, but when I turned to see Brian I just lost all memory. I was so emotional and glad he was home safe,” she explained. “Every time I watch it back, I tear up reliving that moment.”
Tissue cleanup in aisle four!
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