— -- A Massachusetts soldier came home from Afghanistan early and surprised his mother with the help of his community.
Chris Adams served as an Army specialist in Afghanistan for ten months. He returned home to Groveland, Massachusetts on Saturday -- one day shy of his 22nd birthday.
Adams set up an elaborate surprise for his mother and girlfriend that involved the whole community. She was told her house had a gas leak and, when the police and fire trucks arrived with sirens blaring, it was her son, Adams, responding to the call.
"One of the guys had this idea of show up in one of the trucks," Adams told ABC News.
Before he deployed in June, Adams had worked as a firefighter, so his buddies at the fire department were happy to help with the plan. "When they all got wind of it, it kind of snowballed. It was kind of a surprise for me too."
"I had absolutely no idea," McCoy said. "He was due to come home March or April. I kept pressuring him for a date but he didn't tell me anything."
"I knew he was flying home soon," Adams' girlfriend Carolyn told ABC affiliate WCVB-TV in Boston. "But in the back of mind, this was the last thing I expected."
"They told us there was a gas leak, that's how they got us out of the house." McCoy explains.
"Later my husband told me, 'Did you ever think to yourself that we don't have gas?'" she said. "But you don't think of these things when you think the neighborhood is going to explode."
Adams said McCoy was overwhelmed and emotional after the big surprise. "I thought she was going to need medical attention. I thought 'Is she going to stand up?' She was on the ground for a long time, watering the lawn with her tears. She was definitely super shocked. I was worried for a quick second."
Adams is McCoy's only child and she has a close relationship with him. She describes him as funny, sensitive and big-hearted. As an example, she said, "He adopted two stray dogs while he was over there."
"It was a tough ten months having him be away and having little information and little contact," McCoy said. She credits the people around her with helping her during the time her son was gone.
McCoy described her son's homecoming: "It was the second best day of my life," she said. "His birth was the first."