Military Mom Surprises Daughter During Summer Camp With Clever Plan

A military mom devised a heartwarming homecoming surprise for her 6-year-old daughter on her first day of her Girl Scouts camp in southeastern Wisconsin.

Melissa Olson, a technical sergeant in the Wisconsin Air National Guard, has been serving in Southeast Asia. For six months, her only contact with her two daughters, Sydney, 6, and Savannah, 3, has been through video chats.

And while the virtual "hugs and kisses" Sydney and Savannah give Olson through the device are adorable, Olson told WTMJ-TV that she much preferred the in-person bear hug she gave her daughter on Monday afternoon.

On a day she will likely never forget, an unsuspecting Sydney was told that she would meet a special helper when lowering the American flag at the end of the first day of camp. That's when Melissa started to walk out to the flag pole dressed in a daisy costume for her daughter's troop.

When Olson reached the pole, she pulled off the costume, revealing her face to Sydney, who realized that the giant daisy was actually her mom who had been overseas for half a year. Sydney raced across the field, yelling, "Mommy!"

The entire camp cheered and watched the tear-jerking moment as Olson scooped up her daughter into a giant, long-awaited, in-person hug.

Watch the touching moment in the video above.

Later, when Sydney was asked what she said to her mom during that hug, Sydney said, "I love you."

"She said, 'I'm so happy you are home,'" Olson said.

Both of Sydney and Savannah's parents are in the military; their father, Jason, is also in the Wisconsin Air National Guard.


Social media reacted to the heartwarming video with emotional comments. "These never get old, I've personally gone through it and still tears me up," one person said. "Makes me cry too," another wrote. "This is BEAUTIFUL," someone else said.

The sweet clip was featured on NBC's Today, with Hoda Kotb telling viewers that Olson said her heart was "pounding" in her chest before walking out to the flag pole to see her daughter for the first time in six months.