TUNNEL HILL, IL (KFVS) - Being home with loved ones can be the greatest joy of this holiday season. This is why one Heartland soldier traveled all the way back home after months of being away for a special greeting.
Rocky Henderson left home a civilian and came back a soldier after 11 weeks of basic training."It was hard, it was hard missing home … missing the family," he says. "That's when everybody started to really miss home and wanted to be home. And everybody talked about how they just want to home because of the missing home too much. But that's part of it, that's what makes you a soldier."
So he had an idea. With the limited communication, he planned his trip back home by writing his dad.
They decided he would surprise his little brother Weston.
"That's how we come up with the idea of having him go in his room and saying they had to bring presents in and then that's when I come in the door," Henderson said. "He jumps at me and we sit there and we just give each other a big ole brotherly hug."
His little brother Weston Henderson was completely shocked. "They really got me on this one," said Weston.
Even Henderson's mom, Toni Henderson, was ecstatic.
"It was tough. It was really hard not having him here," said Toni Henderson, Rocky's mom said.
"It means everything to me to have my whole family here with me," Weston said. "But yeah, it's been different without him not nearly as fun. It's the best Christmas I could ever ask for, it's awesome. no gift could amount to this - like it's top notch."
"There are soldiers out there right now that still don't get to come home to their families, so it's a privilege to be able to come home and to be able to spend this Christmas with my family that we've done every year," said Henderson.
It is a privilege Henderson won't take for granted.