A military mom in Ohio decided to stage the sweetest surprise for her son for , after being deployed in the Middle East for the last 12 months.
Petty Officer Julie Workman has been deployed in Bahrain since January.
However she secretly returned to her hometown of Strongsville to surprise her 12-year-old son, Dylan, who was at SouthPark Mall with his aunt.
Photo time: Dylan's aunt, who was in on the surprise, had him pose for a photo with the Santa at SouthPark Mall. Little did he know that his mother was waiting in the wings
Surprise: This is the moment Julie Workman suddenly appears and surprises her son, who she had not seen all year
Beautiful moment: An overjoyed Dylan smiles and leaps off Santa's lap to hug his mother
Reunion: Petty Officer Julie Workman has been deployed in Bahrain since January
Together again: The officer returned to her hometown of Strongsville to surprise her 12-year-old son, Dylan, who was at SouthPark Mall with his aunt
It was his aunt, Jessica Workman, who works at the mall, that orchestrated the surprise with Dylan's mom.
She had asked Dylan to have his photo taken on Santa's lap. Julie Workman was waiting nearby, and while Dylan was having the picture taken, she suddenly appeared.
'She had mentioned she wanted to a surprise and I'm a fan of those homecoming surprises as much as anyone else, so I was like okay lets do it,' Jessica told
Dylan said he was overwhelmed by the moment and admitted he didn't quite know how to react to suddenly seeing his mom.
'I didn't know what to do, and whether I should wait for the picture to be over and then give her a hug, but I just jumped up and gave her a hug,' Dylan said.
'It's the best present I could ask for.'
Together again: The surprise between Dylan and his mom was organized by his aunt, Jessica Workman (right), who works at the mall
The mall put the video of what happened on their official Facebook page, with the clip quickly being shared thousands of times.
The post said: 'Petty Officer Julie Workman surprised her son last evening at SouthPark Mall's Ice Palace. She's been deployed in Bahrain since January 2016 and this heartwarming reunion shows how much she was missed. Wishing you loving reunions all season long. Happy Holidays!'
'It's the best present I could ask for,' said Dylan of the surprise made by his mom, Julie Workman