Updated: Monday, 26 Dec 2011, 8:04 AM MST
Published : Sunday, 25 Dec 2011, 11:20 PM MST
LOS LUNAS, N.M (KRQE) - It was a homecoming many people hope for during the holidays, and an extra-special surprise for a Los Lunas family.
The family of a local soldier said they didn't expect this at all. The soldier had been deployed to Iraq, and less than two weeks before Christmas - she gave them a surprise they'll never forget.
"What are you doing here?" a question barely audible in cell phone video from Captain Morgan Holden's mom, after she's been deployed nearly a year.
Today she's enjoying a homecoming no one anticipated.
"Christmas is my favorite time of year, so to be able to come home early, we weren't supposed to come home until mid January--so to be able to be home for my favorite time of year and spend it with family was wonderful," explained Capt. Holden.
The 33-year old medic was deployed since January and was stationed at Joint Base Balad in Iraq since March.
Holden said she didn't expect to be home until next year, but Christmas came a little early for her and her family.
The only person who knew was her brother. The siblings shared the secret until about 10 days ago when he invited her parents over for dinner.
"It was great, my mom's face was priceless, I don't think she could even speak and she started making a sound I've never heard before," Holden recalled.
Her mom, Marilyn, said she had already mentally prepared to spend Christmas without her daughter this year.
"I was really really shocked, best Christmas present ever," Marilyn said.
Holden's dad, Toby, said he's seen reunions like this on television, and had his own Christmas wish answered this year.
"I had mental pictures of that happening to us, but only kind of wishing thoughts so to speak," Toby explained.
Capt. Holden said she'd go back if called, but in the meantime, she's enjoying the time at home.
Holden joined the military after finishing school at UNM. She works in the emergency room at UNM hospital while in the reserves. After a few weeks of rest, she'll return to her work schedule there.
Holden was serving with a team of ten medics that provided care to more than 300-soldiers in her unit. She said she'll miss her fellow soldiers the most.