La Porte Independent School District

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Sailor surprise: Navy mom surprises daughter with ‘happy tears’

DaJanell’s big surprise – seeing her Navy mom – came on August 29, an otherwise normal school day at La Porte Jr. High School, during the bustling lunch period.

Principal Earnest Brooks said organizers planned the big reveal to take place on the stage, in the presence of DaJanell’s classmates and teachers, along with her grandparents and stepfather.

“Once I called her to the stage and pretended I had questions for her, I then quickly moved off stage and observed,” he said.

And that’s when mom stepped from behind the drawn curtains.

A ten-year U.S. Navy veteran, Veronica Lang is used to being away from home for extended periods.  Her surprise visit to DaJanell formulated on the African continent, where she was last stationed. Lang was in Houston only a few hours before making her way to the school.

“I was nervous and so excited that I was finally able to surprise her at school in uniform, so she can be proud that her mother has sacrificed so much for her and her siblings,” Lang said.

As with any surprise, the element of … surprise comes in quite handy. Mission accomplished.

During their extended tear-filled hug on the cafeteria stage, DaJanell said was in shock.

“I didn’t think she would be back for a few more weeks,” DaJanell said. Still, she was overjoyed that Mom came home early.

“I just really missed her,” DaJanell said. “Knowing that she wouldn’t be able to make it to my games and all my award ceremonies really hurt, but I knew she was doing it for us.”

Lang said she’ll be returning to reserve status for the U.S. Navy Seabees, which will give her more time to do some of her favorite things – eat locally, shop and get massages.

And see a few games and awards ceremonies.