When soldier Patrick Conwell returned for Christmas after nine months in Afghanistan, he decided to make it a homecoming to remember -- and he sure pulled it off. Not only did he have his family in hysterics, but he's got the entire Internet reaching for the tissues.
He timed his arrival so that he'd be home on the same day that his brother and sister-in-law were planning to do a gender reveal party for their second child. The wrapped box that their family figured would pop open to reveal a pink or a blue balloon was the perfect hiding place for Conwell, he explained to StoryFul. Well, maybe it was a tad cramped, but he wasn't complaining.
After working out the kinks during a dry run, Conwell ducked into the box as his mom, dad and sister sat on the couch, eagerly awaiting the big 'reveal.' Little did they know they were about to find out that it's a ... very big, very grown-up boy!
As the box opens, a green balloon floats out, and everyone seems a bit perplexed. Then, Conwell pops up and the room momentarily goes quiet. After the family fully grasps what's going on, they practically ricochet off the couch and into his arms. Meanwhile, in the background, Conwell's brother is so excited he just stands there, hugging himself. (Note that the cat seems unimpressed.)
We assume that at some point the family actually learned the sex of the baby, and that likely brought a fresh flood of tears. Whether it's a boy or a girl, we're sure Conwell will be a fabulous uncle.
After the video went viral, Conwell shared this information with AOL, via an email to StoryFul:
"So, a quick bit of background. I was gone for 9 months to Kandahar, Afghanistan. The plan to jump out of the box kinda just started as a joke about a month before I came back when I was talking to my brothers one day. My brother and his wife are having a baby and ... the discussion evolved into we should have a cake for when I get back, then that turned into they would do a 'reveal' cake for the baby, but instead of pink or blue, it would be green and then I would jump out and surprise mom.
For whatever reason, my brother scrapped the cake idea and it turned into me jumping out of the box with the green balloon. It really wasn't something we planned in depth, the plan just sorta came together as we went along. It sounded like it would be funny to surprise my mom, I think that's why we really did it, just to do it as a gag.
Oh, and I had been back about 24 hours at that point. Basically I had been back just long enough to shower, eat and get some sleep."
Check out this awesome GIF from a Redditor: