MANVEL, Texas – Two Alvin ISD teachers were surprised just before Thanksgiving.
Their son, who joined the Army National Guard, told them he could not come home for Thanksgiving. They were devastated. What they did not know was that their son was planning the ultimate surprise. He drove from Minnesota to Manvel to make it happen.
For 18-year-old Caden Wulf, serving his country was, perhaps, in his destiny.
“I was in Missouri for six months,” Wulf said.
He was starting his training for the Army National Guard, a kind of sacrifice his brother and father know. They both served in the military. Caden Wulf’s father is a Marine and his brother served in the Army National Guard.
The Wulf family had lived in Texas then moved to Minnesota for years. Moving back to Texas and relocating in Manvel to a new home, his family knew Thanksgiving would be tough.
“I told them I wasn’t going to be here for Thanksgiving,” Caden Wulf said.
His parents, who are both new Alvin Independent School District teachers, were crushed.
“It’s always just been us four all the time. We’ve always been that four-unit,” Ronda Wulf, Caden’s mother, said.
“It’s such a disconnect. I’m 4th generation Marine, and they’re a 5th generation Military. It was important that they knew we were there to support them, but we couldn’t be,” Richard Wulf, Caden’s father, said.
Or so he thought.
After months of planning, Caden Wulf was able to hammer out the logistics for a surprise. On Friday, Caden Wulf, made the trip to Manvel High, where his father worked and surprise his father while he was teaching a government class.
“When I turned and then I saw camouflage ... and then it dawned on me who it was,” Richard Wulf said.
The father and son embraced. Richard Wulf cried in his son’s arms as Alvin ISD captured the moment on video.
“I’ve been talking about you every day,” Richard Wulf can be heard in the video saying to his son.
“I hugged him, and at that point, I lost it,” Richard Wulf told KPRC 2.
Caden Wulf then went to Red Duke Elementary to surprise his mother.
“Oh my God -- what are you doing here?” Rhonda Wulf said after running to her son and embracing him.
“Uh, surprising you,” Caden Wulf laughed.
After months of planning and keeping secrets, Caden Wulf said that it was all worth it.
“It’s been a huge secret!” Caden Wulf said.
Caden thanked his family in Minnesota and his big brother Austin for their help in organizing the surprise.
“I was kind of his man on the inside,” Austin Wulf, 22, said.
“Now, this military will be able to celebrate Thanksgiving together as a family,” Caden Wulf said.
“We’re back. The family is now complete,” Richard Wulf said. “We’re home now, but now it’s for real because we’re all together.”
“It was really special to have him here. New home in a different state ... and having him home,” Ronda Wulf said.