Mom surprises son at school after returning home from deployment

Jene Sabrowsky surprises her son Jake at McKinley Elementary School in Appleton after being deployed for nearly a year, January 2018. (Image courtesy of McKinley Elementary School)

APPLETON (WLUK) -- Coming home after her nine-month deployment to the Middle East, Jene Sabrowsky wanted to do something special for her two sons.

“Because it was so rough for them, I wanted to end it on a good note where they felt like oh this was cool, it is something we can be proud of,” said Sabrowsky.

With help from McKinley Elementary's principal, Sabrowsky came up with a school surprise. It ended up being for her son Jake. His brother was home sick.

“I thought she was staying until mid-summer,” said Jake about his mother’s deployment.

That is why Jake had no clue what was going on when his school's mascot made a rare lunch time visit, sitting directly across from him. When the McKinley Jaguar took off its head, the 6th grader quickly learned his mother was home from overseas.

“I was like is this is a dream or is it reality?” said Jake. “And then I just ran over and gave her a hug. I almost thought about crawling over the table.”

“It was surprising to me rewatching the video later how quickly he recognized me because when I was sitting there I was like ok he's forgotten,” said Jene Sabrowsky. “I know that seems really unlikely, but a million things go through your head.”

The surprise didn't stop with Jake. Sabrowsky's younger son, Jackson, received his own later that night. Thinking he was receiving a late birthday present at a friend’s house, Jackson saw his mother after a blindfold was removed from his head.

“We had to get a little more creative with his surprise,” said Jene Sabrowsky.

Sabrowsky says she is very thankful to everyone who helped her with the surprise plans and with her sons while she was serving.

“Everyone stepped up and stepped in over the last year,” said Sabrowsky. “It's been amazing.”

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