FREEPORT, N.Y. (CBS 2) — Christmas came early for one young boy on Long Island.
Emilio Pereira’s brother, who was deployed in Afghanistan, made a surprise visit to his school on Friday and CBS 2 cameras captured the heartwarming moment.
Emilio and his 3rd grade classmates at Leo Giblyn Elementary School in Freeport have spent a lot of time learning about the military this school year. They have also been writing letters to his brother, Arturo Velasquez, who is serving as a marine.
“I haven’t seen him for a long time,” Emilio told CBS 2’s Kristin Thorne.
So Emilio’s teachers thought it would be a nice thing to have him and the class Skype with Arturo in Afghanistan. However, instead of chatting with his big brother online, Emilio got a tremendous surprise when he met him in person Friday.
“What’s up little brother? What’s up?” asked Arturo as he arrived in the classroom.
After warm hug and plenty of smiles, Artuo talked to Thorne about what it meant to see his brother again.
“I’m very close to him, so I miss him a lot — a special moment. I’m just happy to see him again,” he said.
When asked what he thought after reuniting with his brother, Emilio said “I didn’t know he was going to come in.”
“Today I’m very happy. I’m excited. I say thank you for everything. My son is here,” Arturo and Emilio’s mother, Sonia Pereira said.
Emilio’s class also read aloud a large letter declaring Arturo their “class hero.”
“We promise to write you letters and send you care packages. We promise to keep you in our thoughts. Thank you for all of your hard work!” the letter read.
Arturo will return to Afghanistan on January 7th for two years. While, it will be a short trip home, Emilio says it’s the best Christmas present he could have.