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East Massapequa identical twins come home from Navy, surprise mom

Diane Soesman, 56, of East Massapequa, wasn't expecting

Diane Soesman, 56, of East Massapequa, wasn't expecting her sons, 21-year-old identical twins Taylor, left, and Chris Soesman, to come home for Christmas, but the Navy men surprised her Monday while she was at work. On the left is Taylor's fiancee, Joanna Fisher, 20, of Lindenhurst, who filmed the video. (Dec. 23, 2013) (Credit: Handout)

Christmas came two days early for an East Massapequa mom whose sons are enlisted in the United States Navy.

Taylor and Chris Soesman, 21-year-old identical twins, had told their mother, Diane Soesman, 56, that they weren’t going to be able to come home for Christmas this year.

She wasn’t expecting to see Taylor, a naval construction mechanic stationed in Virginia, and Chris, who was training in Texas to become a hospital corpsman, until late January. But on Monday morning, the brothers, dressed in their fatigues, walked into World Gym in Wantagh, where their mother works, and gave her the surprise of her life.


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“No way!” Diane Soesman says upon seeing her sons during the 55-second video of the surprise homecoming that Taylor uploaded to YouTube on Dec. 23.

Then, she proceeds to break down as she hugs each of them.

“My heart stopped ... I was speechless,” she said Tuesday while recalling the experience.

The Soesman brothers had been planning the surprise since October. Both took a few days leave to be home for Christmas, but kept it a secret from their mother, sister and several friends.

Taylor actually drove up from Virginia on Friday, but had been staying with his fiancee, Joanna Fisher, 20, in Lindenhurst. She operated the camera in the video.

Chris flew home Sunday night, and while waiting for his connecting flight in Missouri, he received a call from his mother that nearly spoiled the surprise. He had to keep putting his phone on mute so she wouldn’t hear the announcements in the airport prompting passengers to board their planes.

“That was a challenge,” he said.

Although Chris saw his mother in September when she attended his graduation from bootcamp in Chicago, the brothers had not seen each other since May, when Taylor left for bootcamp.

“We have a special bond and it was just great seeing my brother,” Taylor said.

It was especially important to the Soesman boys to be home for Christmas this year because last year they couldn’t celebrate the holiday in their family’s house. It was still undergoing repairs from superstorm Sandy.

“It really just broke my mom's heart that we weren’t home together,” Taylor added.

Though she wasn’t expecting her boys to be home this year, Diane Soesman said she still hung their stockings on the mantel. However, she mailed their Christmas gifts to them, so they won’t be able to open those Wednesday morning.

But she said her boys reassured her that they came home not for the gifts, but to spend time with their family.

She added, “This is the best Christmas present.”

Readers on mobile devices can view video at http://bit.ly/1a77gN1

Tags: East Massapequa , Wantagh , Christmas , twins , identical , Navy , towns , mom

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