Fast Food Worker Is Served Up Homecoming Surprise by Sailor Son

Nancy Martin was working at Burger King when her son surprised her.

— -- A mother-of-two who thought her 21-year-old son would be serving in the military over Christmas got the surprise of her life Thursday when her son surprised her at her job.

Martin, who works in food prep, grabbed a mop, even though it is not in her job requirements, and went out to help, only to see her deployed son, Nicholas Martin, a sailor in the U.S. Navy, standing before her.

“I just ran and hugged him as tight as I could,” Martin told ABC News. “I was thinking that he was coming home in February, that’s what I was waiting for.”

When Nicholas Martin, 21, found out he would be home in time for Christmas, his older sister, and Martin’s only other child, 25-year-old Priscilla, called their mom’s boss to arrange a surprise homecoming.

“Priscilla messaged me before Halloween and said she wanted to surprise her mom because her brother was coming home,” Josh Bell, the director of operations and marketing for the family-owned Burger King franchise, told ABC News.

Nicholas, who is based in San Diego but has spent the past 240 days deployed on the USS Essex, flew into Charleston on Wednesday and then arrived at his mom’s Burger King around 9 a.m. Thursday, according to Bell.

“She’s still crying now,” Bell joked of Martin’s reaction. “She’s one of our best employees.”

Bell says he gave Martin the next week-and-a-half off to spend time with her son, who will return to San Diego before the new year.

“Words cannot describe how excited I was,” Martin said of the surprise.