A Holbrook native decided to surprise his mother after returning home from a 9-month deployment in Kuwait.

U.S. Army Sgt. Richard Botte was sent to the Middle East in December 2015. When he returned in August, 2016, he was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas until he decided to show up on his mother’s doorstep two days after Christmas.

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“I thought it’d be a nice surprise. I had never had the opportunity to do something like this before,” said Botte, 26.

To pull off the surprise, Botte conspired with his cousin, who was in the house and told Katherine, 49, she was needed outside to sign a package.

A video of the homecoming that has become popular on Facebook shows Katherine Botte emerging through the front door and her son – wearing his Army fatigues and gripping a bouquet of flowers – yelling “special delivery” and giving his mother a big hug.

“I was very, very surprised,” Katherine Botte said. “The holidays are always rough, not having him here. I was just so thankful to see him.”

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Botte’s now back at Fort Bliss, where he’ll be stationed until mid-April, he said.