US

Son Surprises Family After Marine Boot Camp Graduation Over the Holidays

By Zachary Stieber

A son surprised his family in North Carolina on Thanksgiving by coming home after graduating from Marine boot camp—and they didn’t even know he had joined the Marines.

Taylor Rice planned the surprise after being away at boot camp for three months.

He hatched the surprise plan with his wife, Johanna, and an aunt.

Video footage filmed by his wife showed the moment Rice walked into his family’s house in North Carolina and spotted his mother, Wendi.

When Wendi saw her son in full military regalia, she burst into tears. The mother and son then shared a joyful hug.

One aunt can be heard saying soon after, “Now it’s my turn.”

Rice said he was happy the surprise was pulled off.

“My mom was in total shock at what she was seeing as I entered the door,” Rice said in an interview with T&T Creative Media, which published the video. “She immediately cried with joy.”

Rice’s father was proud of his son. His father is an Army veteran. Rice’s dad was running errands during the initial surprise but couldn’t stop smiling after learning that his son had become a Marine.

“2018 was the best Thanksgiving ever,” Rice said.

Search for missing Marines
Japan’s Coast Guard ship, top, and U.S. military plane are seen at sea off Kochi, southwestern Japan, during a search and rescue operation for missing crew members of an American Marines aircraft on Dec. 6, 2018. (Kyodo News via AP, File)

Lone Survivor From Collision Released From Hospital

The lone survivor of a Dec. 6 collision of two Marine Corps aircraft off the coast of Japan was released from the hospital on Dec. 10. The collision left six dead, Marine officials told the Marine Corp Times on Dec. 11.

The identity of the Marine who survived the crash between a KC-130 Hercules and F/A-18 Hornet was not made public.

Capt. Jahmar F. Resilard, a Hornet pilot with Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242, was also found after the crash but died on Friday. The other five Marines went missing during the crash.

After a massive search of more than 35,000 square miles of ocean, the search was called off on Tuesday and the missing Marines were declared dead.

“I have made the determination to end the search and rescue operations for the crew of our KC-130J aircraft, which was involved in a mishap off the southern coast of Japan and to declare that these Marine warriors are deceased,” Smith said in a press release.

“Every possible effort was made to recover our crew and I hope the families of these selfless Americans will find comfort in the incredible efforts made by U.S., Japanese, and Australian forces during the search.”

The flight data and cockpit recorder for the Hercules was not recovered.

“Every member of the III MEF family mourns this loss and stands alongside the families of the fallen in this terrible moment,” Smith added.

The identities of the deceased Marines will be made public after their next of kin are notified.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a statement expressing condolences to the families of the Marines.

“The loss of the outstanding members of U.S. Marine Corps is my deepest regret, and I myself and the Japanese people share deep sorrow of the American people,” Abe said. “Japan-U.S. alliance is supported by the dedication of each U.S. military personnel, and I offer my heartfelt condolences to the victims.”