Leslie Ann Ruggiero was having a little Christmas celebration with her co-workers at the Ocean Medical Center in Brick, New Jersey. Mrs. Ruggiero, who works as a nurse, was trying to be festive and happy but her happiness couldn’t be real.
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Her son, Travis, who was a US soldier on duty in Afghanistan wasn’t with her as he was supposed to return three months after Christmas. Or so Leslie Ruggiero thought. Together with the staff of the Ocean Medical Center Travis organized the best Christmas surprise of all for his mother. Dressed in a Santa costume with a huge white beard Travis was unrecognizable and when his mom went to receive a Christmas card in front of her colleagues she didn’t have the slightest idea her son was standing next to her.
Leslie opened up the card and immediately broke into tears finding out it was from him. Then just as she was telling everyone that Travis was still in Afghanistan he took off his hat and beard and appeared in front of her. Shaken, Leslie later shared that it was one of the happiest moments of her life and that “the whole thing was like something you only see on TV”.