JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Jonesboro family was reunited Sunday during the Delta Symphony Orchestra Concert at the Fowler Center.
The mother, who is serving in the Army and was deployed last summer, was able to keep the secret and surprise her children.
"On June 1, , I went to Fort Bliss and SRP'ed out," Melissa McMahon said. "Then I went to Germany for a month for training for postal and then from there I went to Kosovo."
Melissa has been in the Southeast Europe country and 5,000 miles away from her five children for nearly a year.
It was her second deployment with the Army.
She said this time was even harder than the first.
"This is the second time I've had to leave my kids," Melissa said. "It was a lot harder the second time. The first one was traumatic but this one was more because they understood more, understood more of why and where I was going versus my first deployment, I just told them I was going to work."
The McMahon family has been involved with the Delta Symphony Orchestra for the past six years.
Melissa's three youngest children, Angel, Brock, and Georgia, have all performed in the youth choir in years past.
Georgia was singing on Sunday and thought her mother was going to miss her performance.
"They do not know I'm here yet," Melissa said. "I sent a message to Facebook Messenger page that we set up right before I left and told them that I was going to be home next weekend. I mean, I was going to be back in the states next weekend and then I had to do out-process which was going to take another two weeks."
But towards the end of the concert, just before the youth choir performed the Star Spangled Banner, Angel and Brock were called up to the stage, supposedly to help lead the song.
And before the song could begin, the children were surprised with Melissa walking onto the stage.
The youngest three ran and hugged their mom, crying tears of joy.
The reunion then continued backstage with the entire family, where Melissa was able to meet her newest granddaughter who was born just one month ago.