Marine Surprises Family With Return

On a deployment to Afghanistan, Jerry Thorton has been planning his surprise homecoming for five months

By Mola Lenghi
|  Sunday, Nov 13, 2011  |  Updated 3:59 PM CDT
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An Arlington Marine's homecoming surprised his family at the Marine Corp Birthday Ball.

Mola Lenghi, Arlington Journalist

An Arlington Marine's homecoming surprised his family at the Marine Corp Birthday Ball.

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For Master Gunnery Sargent Jerry Thorton of the U.S. Marine Corps, coming home has been a covert operation.

“The only ones who know about it are about five or six Marines and my in-laws and that’s it,” said Thorton.

Though, he did have to deal with a major leak.

“My father in law gave in – he was the only one who knew but finally had to give in to my mother in law. He finally had to tell her what he was talking to me about,” said Thorton.

Thorton and his father-in-law were planning a surprise for his family. On November 12th, the night of the Marine Corps birthday ball, he'd be returning home from Afghanistan, where he’s spent the last five months.

“My wife has no idea I’m coming home. This is all a surprise. She’ll be in the – she’ll be sitting at a table with my two daughters,” said Thorton.

The family was in attendance at the ball at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dallas, thinking they were there representing the deployed Thorton at the ball.

“She’ll fall out of her chair,” Thorton predicted before the ball. Once Thorton was introduced to those attending the ball, his wife Lisa and her two daughters fell right into Thorton’s arms.

“I was completely shocked,” said Lisa.

“I’ve been through several deployments all the way back from Desert Storm to now. And it’s hard on everybody,” admitted Master Gny Sgt Thorton.

The Thortons will have 15 days to spend together before Jerry has to return to Afghanistan for seven months to finish his deployment.

While home he says, “it’s going to be all about family.”

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