Soldier Surprises Family by Coming Home for Christmas: 'I Am Surely Blessed,' Says Mom

Army Pvt. Tyrel Miller was stationed in Germany and hadn't seen his family since May

soldier surprises family
Tyrel Miller (right) with his mom Michelle (left) at church . Photo: Courtesy Michelle Miller

This is a Christmas surprise one family will never forget.

Over the weekend, Army Pvt. Tyrel Miller, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, shocked his family members with an unannounced visit home ahead of the December holiday, Fox station WLUK reported.

After being stationed in Germany, Tyrel — who hadn't seen his family since May — returned home with the help of his mother, Michelle Miller, who put the reunion together nearly two months ago, WLUK reported.

"It feels amazing to have all my children under one roof again," the proud mom tells PEOPLE. "I am surely blessed."

After picking Tyrel up from the airport on Friday, Michelle gathered the family together at a restaurant on Saturday.

"We were gonna go to South Carolina to see his graduation in January," she told WLUK. "So that's what today was about 'cause he was supposed to call us. That's what they thought."

soldier surprises family
Tyrel Miller with his sister Ally. Courtesy Michelle Miller

In a video of the heartwarming moment, which was shared online by WLUK's Nick Harrington, Tyrel can be seen entering the food joint as his family members question what they're seeing.

"Are you kidding me?" one family member asks through tears. Another cheers and claps at seeing the young soldier.

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Then family members can be seen getting up from their seats and making their way over to Tyrel to give him hugs.

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"No, I did not know," one emotional family member says before she jokingly calls the group "a-holes" for keeping Tyrel's return a secret.

Speaking with WLUK, Tyrel said of not seeing his family often, "It gets hard, because you're away from home. Especially for every other holiday."

"You're missing the birthdays, everything and watching the family grow up. So that's the hardest part," he added. "Being here with the family is really good."

soldier surprises family
Tyrel Miller with his mom Michelle and his cousin and godson Maurice Jr. Courtesy Michelle Miller

Tyrel's great uncle Don — who was a soldier himself — described the surprise at the restaurant as "special."

"I've been in the military myself for 20 some years, and you see the uniform, right away you pick up on it, 'Oh hey, something special is happening,' right? And for us it was because he hadn't been home in a long time, so we're good for that," he said. "For his mom, especially, and for his aunts and nieces that are here."

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