After a six-month deployment in the Pacific, Richards decided to surprise his daughter by dressing up as the Beast.
Soldier Surprises Mom on 50th Birthday
"My mother-in-law's 50th birthday was something my husband and I had been planning for a long time. We are from Orlando, FL and were being stationed in Savannah, GA. In April 2011 we were transferred to Colorado Springs, CC, and unfortunately my husband got sent on his 2nd year-long deployment in 2 years; this time to Afghanistan. Naturally we were all very bummed and on June 8th, 2011, he deployed. In August, my husband called and said it looked like he would be home mid September for leave. I immediately called my father-in-law and asked if there was some way we could still plan that surprise party, with Jeremy as the surprise. Being an army wife, I know never to expect dates to stay the same, so I was worried that he might not be able to make it. My mother-in-law works for a judge at the Orange County Court House, so my father-in-law called him to ask if there was something we could set up at her work. My husband flew in Sept 20th, and her birthday was the 22nd. I actually speak to my mother-in-law on a daily basis, and she was so completely bummed that neither of us would be able to be with her on her big 5-0. On the day before her birthday, I called her to say that I had sent her package a few days before and hopefully it would be there tomorrow, but that I would be at work the next day and wouldn't be able to call her until later that night. I sent her a bouquet of flowers to her office, to arrive before noon, to help sell that we wouldn't be there. I flew into Orlando, landing around noon, and drove to the court house for her surprise birthday luncheon. Her judge told her that they were having cake in a conference room, and that the fire department was coming to do a special interest piece for the paper, so there would be some cameras and reporters. She refused to come upstairs, and so they basically had to drag her up to the conference room feeding her as many lies as it took. They told her it would be fairly quick, and that she would go to the room, and the fireman would deliver the cake with 50 candles. She got into the room, and my husband walked in the room to deliver the cake. It was probably the single best moment I have ever witnessed! I love sharing this story, because I am sure there are many mothers who can relate to how she felt when he walked in the room!" -Stephanie R.