JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WSVN) — In a touching Christmas reunion, U.S. Navy Sailor Alyanna Nelson is back in the States for the first time in over seven months, surprising her family with an emotional return home in Jacksonville.

The heartfelt moment fulfilled a Christmas wish for a family joyfully reunited just in time for the holidays.

Kim Mueller, Alyanna’s mother, expressed the overwhelming joy of having her daughter home.

“I miss her so much,” she said with tears of joy in her eyes. “It is unexplainable as a parent that you don’t see your child. I am just so happy that you are home and in my arms.”

Alyanna Nelson, stationed in Virginia Beach, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in July 2022. Despite her challenging role, she remains deeply connected to her family, particularly her mother, who describes Alyanna as her “first born” and “everything.”

Returning home on Saturday morning, Alyanna shared her excitement.

“It was very exciting. I am very family-oriented, and I’ve been by my mom’s side since I was a little girl. She is literally my best friend,” said Alyanna.

Since May, Alyanna has been part of detachments guiding to assist sailors from boot camp graduation through their first year in the Navy.

For Kim, having Alyanna home is a cherished gift.

“To have her home and knowing what’s going on in the world, that my baby girl is home, and I get to celebrate Christmas with all of my kids together. And that’s all that matters,” said Kim.

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