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Local Military Mother Surprises Daughter Before Thanksgiving

6-year-old Kyliegh Palmer sat in surprise as her mother walked into the room six months after being deployed to Afghanistan. Her mother, Staff Sgt. Patricia Ryan of the U.S. Air Force, surprised Kyliegh at her school's Thanksgiving feast on Tuesday.


While Ryan was deployed, Kyliegh has been living with her grandparents in Crescent City. Ryan said the distance from her daughter has been very difficult.


"You learn to cope with it. It still hurts, but you learn how to cope with it," said Ryan.


Kyliegh's grandmother, Kathleen Daignault, said she has had to stay strong for her granddaughter.


"Every night she says 'I miss her Grandma,' and I say 'I know you do, but we only have this many days," said Daignault.


Daignault has been planning the homecoming over the past month. "I'll tell you it's the most difficult thing keeping a secret from a six year old," said Daignault.


Ryan is currently stationed in Colorado and will go back after Thanksgiving. Kyliegh will spend the remainder of the school semester in Crescent City with her grandparents before moving with her mother to Colorado in December.


Ryan said the best thing of all is that she will not be deployed again.


"I'm overwhelmed with happiness and joy, because I have her back now and I'm excited," said Ryan.