Service member returns from overseas, surprises his mother at school assembly

Regina Benzing said she'd been waiting a long time to hug the 20-year-old.

April 23, 2018, 3:14 PM

A teacher in New York got an early Mother's Day surprise recently as she participated in her school's student of the month assembly.

Regina Benzing was at a microphone, reading the names of the children chosen for the honor at Lenox Elementary School in Baldwin, New York, last week when a surprising yet familiar name popped up on her list: Eric Benzing.

That confused her. The name belonged to her son, a 20-year-old Air Force specialist deployed overseas.

"As I looked down and saw, I said the name in my head -- 'Eric Benzing.' ... I was like 'What? Eric Benzing?'" she told ABC News of the assembly on Wednesday.

She called the name out anyway, though with a quizzical look on her face.

PHOTO: Regina Benzing was surprised at her school when her son Eric Benzing appeared, April 18, 2018. Eric Benzing, an Air Force specialist, had been in Germany since September.
Regina Benzing was surprised at her school when her son Eric Benzing appeared, April 18, 2018. Eric Benzing, an Air Force specialist, had been in Germany since September.
ABC News

And, Eric Benzing, Regina Benzing's son, appeared from behind the auditorium doors.

The staff and student body, who had been in on the surprise and had added his name to the mother's list erupted into cheers as the two embraced and Regina Benzing began to cry.

"It's good to hold my boy," Regina Benzing said. "I've been waiting a long time to put my arms around him."

Eric Benzing, who has been in Germany since September, is expected to be home for three weeks and then return to duty overseas, according to ABC station WABC-TV.

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