Atlanta company surprises employee with trip to welcome son home from deployment

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An Atlanta mother is praising her company after surprising her with a trip to California, so she could welcome her son back home from deployment.

Last November, Danielle Moreland said her oldest son, Blake, a United States Marine Corporal, was transferred to 29 Palms, which is a base in San Bernardino County, California. He moved there from Kings Bay in South Georgia to train for deployment in Iraq.

Blake left for the Middle East six months ago, and once he found out he would be returning home on Wednesday, October 5, he called his mother.

“Marine parents only get 72 hours’ notice of the arrival for security reasons,” said Danielle, who works as a Senior Recruiter for the Professional Staffing Division at Quest Group.  

On Tuesday, October 4, which was the day Danielle received the wonderful news her son was returning home, the owners at Quest Group went above and beyond for their employee.

“Surprised me by booking a same day flight for me and an entire trip to be able to be there to welcome him home,” Danielle told FOX 5’s Katie Muse.

Danielle flew into LAX later that day and one of Blake’s Marine friends helped her arrange transportation to 29 Palms. Brent, another Marine,  picked her up from the airport.

“Brent had never even met Blake but said ‘Marines take care of each other’ and when he deployed twice, upon return, his family was unable to be there,” Danielle said.

Danielle was in 29 Palms by Wednesday morning, waiting for her son to return. Once he landed, the mother said she concealed herself and told him she was sorry she couldn’t greet him in person.

“He said, ‘Mom, who would come this far just to see me?’”

Little did he know, she had just traveled across the country and the mother of three spent the day with other Marine families, anxiously waiting for the busses to arrive on base.

“Blake and I did not see each other until we were about two feet apart,” she recalled. “Tears of joy in no way expresses what my heart felt to see my son safely home on U.S. soil!”

Watch video: Marines returning home to families at 29 Palms

Danielle told FOX 5 she spent the next few days catching up with her son, cleaning his house and “mummying him,” all thanks to Quest Group’s amazing act of kindness.

Blake, who works in Infantry, will celebrate four years with the Marines in December.

“Blake is very quiet and humble and after returning has decided to extend his contract and deploy again,” his proud mother said. 

From all of us at FOX 5 News -- thank you for your service, U.S. Marine Corporal Blake Austin Moreland!