NJ soldier surprises twin nephews
SEWELL, N.J. - February 23, 2012 (WPVI) -- Twin boys in South Jersey got a big surprise Friday afternoon. Their uncle is a member of the Air Force, and he just returned home from Afghanistan.
His first stop was to see the boys at school.
The hug was almost bigger than the shock for two seventh grade twins during lunch at Chestnut Ridge Middle School in Sewell, New Jersey.
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Edward Park surprised his nephews at school, having just gotten off the plane in Atlantic City Friday morning after spending three months in Afghanistan.
Joe and Nick Ciallella expected him home this weekend.
"I missed you," said Joe Ciallella. "Everything's going on in my head right now. How I was always thinking about him."
"I've been hoping that he's been okay, and I've been worried about him," said Nick Ciallella.
"I made it home okay. I told you I would huh," said Sr. Airman Edward Park.
The distance has been difficult. The close-knit family always saw each other often.
"We live what like a mile and a half from each other, so we were pretty much seeing each other all the time," said Park.
Nick wants to be a Marine. Joe hopes to one day join the Air Force like Edward.
Teachers and classmates who only just met Edward on this surprise trip already feel like they know him, because the boys talk about their uncle, their role model all the time.
"I'm just thrilled for them," said teacher Karen DeFranco. "This is what they've been waiting for the entire year. This made their year and mine."
Now that Edward is home safe and sound, the next thing on the agenda is to get some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
"Nobody realizes what these men go through emotionally for us; to keep us safe," said Chrissy Ciallella, the twin's mom.
For now, time with family and time with his nephews is what the Senior Airman is looking forward to.
Joe and Nick find comfort in this homecoming and pride in what their uncle accomplished.
"It is very motivational, just knowing he's here," said Joe.
u.s. air force, afghanistan, new jersey, local/state, katherine scott
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