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Saturday, May 25, 2013 - 11:22pm
El Paso,TX (KDBC) — Eighteen year-old Korina Peña has been away from home for almost a year. She joined the US Navy last September and has been stationed in Pensacola, Florida for training.
"I am excited, nervous, scared. It's going to be very emotional. We will probably have to invest in Kleenex," said Korina, before the surprise.
She came home to El Paso this Memorial Day weekend to surprise her mother, Norma for her birthday.
"I'm just hoping that she has the best birthday and memory of all of this," said Korina.
"I'm hoping that she doesn't actually have a heart attack on us," said Korina's sister, Brenda.
Brenda helped plan the surprise. Their family and friends came to celebrate at Applebee's.
But before the big reveal, Korina recorded a video for her mother that a loved one played at the restaurant. In the video, Korina says she feels bad for wishing her mom happy birthday through a computer -- little did her mom know she would soon hear it in person.
"That's the best gift I could every have for my birthday. I thought I wasn't going to see her. She tricked me. She told me she was going to go camping," said Norma.
Korina will return to Florida Monday morning to resume her training. She says she's waiting on orders to see where she will be stationed next.