Local sailor returns home as Christmas gift

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - A local sailor came home early from his deployment in Japan, setting up a holiday surprise for his family.

On Wednesday night at the Orange Park Mall, PO2 Richard Corrales popped out of a giant gift-wrapped box for an unexpected reunion.

His children, ages 2 and 5, were telling Santa what they want for Christmas when the giant box starting moving. Out popped Corrales, returning from a six month deployment to Japan.

Corrales said he's usually gone for Christmas, so this holiday reunion was very special.

"It's super special. Got to get home and surprise the kids, my daughter is still in shock," Corrales said.

"It's the first deployment that I got to make it back before Christmas. I'm usually gone for Christmas, so it's a little tough, but when you make it back for the holidays, it's so worth it," he said.

The Corrales family said they don't have big plans for the holidays. They said they plan on spending time with family, the most important thing.

They didn't waste much time at the mall. They headed home for some much-needed R&R.

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