When Sergeant Ross Hobbs wasn't busy fixing Apache helicopters on his 11-month deployment to Afghanistan, he was conspiring with his sister back home in Raymore to make his homecoming something truly memorable.
"He was just like... I want to surprise mom and dad. Help me," recalls Lynda Tucker, Hobbs' sister.
The pair set to scheming, starting by dashing mom's expectations of a homecoming this past weekend.
"He was going to have to see a physical therapist and have some evaluation and he wasn't going to be home yesterday with everybody else," says Hobbs' mom, Katie Hobbs.
After months of planning, Ross and Lynda finally came up with a perfect way to surprise their mom, with the help of a very unlikely ally... Pizza Hut.
"I said - this is what we wanna to do. We want to get a uniform, dress him up as a driver and have him bring the pizza and he loved the idea," Tucker explains.
So did the manager at Pizza Hut.
"It was amazing to be a part of it. Just to do something like that was amazing," the manager told us.
Sunday night, Ross's mother watched on TV as his unit came home from Afghanistan. She wept.
"All I could think was... I just want him home. I want him back. I want him back here. I want him stateside."
The secret held until dinner time, when the pizza man knocked.
"And I come around the corner, and I can't even explain the absolute joy that I saw when I saw his face."
"It went a lot better than I thought it was going to be."
Ross was home, safe and sound, and this family was complete again.
"My family is here. It's wonderful. There's nothing like it. Absolutely nothing like it. Absolutely nothing. I wouldn't trade it for anything," Hobbs says.
(Garrett Haake, KSHB for CNN)
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