Military daughter surprises mother in Beaufort restaurant - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Military daughter surprises mother in Beaufort restaurant


After a nine month deployment in Afghanistan, an Army National Guard servicemember is back home with her loved ones.

WTOC was there when 1st Lt. Edlynn Atkins pulled off a very special surprise that nearly took her mother's breath away.

It took two months of secret planning to pull off this special moment.

"She kept speculating, so I had to show her who always comes out on top," said Atkins.

"I had to make midnight runs to the DSN line, pretending like I was still calling on Afghanistan time," she added.

And it seemed to work.

"She pulled it off very well, I don't know, I just thought she dropped down from the sky somewhere, like what happened? I mean, I had the feeling that something was happening but I just never thought it would be her," said mother Earnestine Atkins. 

It's been nine months since Edlynn Atkins left for Afghanistan, the second military deployment for this Beaufort native.

Her cousin, Crystal Cummings, said, "We're really close, Edlynn's like the big sister I never had, best friend, everything, that's who I go to for anything."

"We've been FaceTiming her since she's been over there, just you know, trying to stay connected, so we're just really, really, really excited and really happy she's back home," added cousin Reginald Bailey.
While in Afghanistan, Edlynn Atkins worked as a signal communications officer with Alpha Company 198.

She says it was the simple, little things that she missed.

"Ah, the food of course! The home cooked meals, just having that freedom, there are no trees there, I haven't seen rain in like 10 months, so it's good to see and breathe fresh air again," said Edlynn Atkins. 

And now that she's had some comfort food, all that's left is to enjoy the comfort of having her family so close to her again.

The next big celebration is next month when the two are going on vacation to Montreal, Canada to celebrate Earnestine's birthday.

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