Solider Returns Home as Santa, Surprises Mother

BRUSHY PRAIRIE, Ind. (AP):  A northeastern Indiana soldier surprised his mother with an early return home, masquerading as Santa Claus as she sat on his lap at a school staff Christmas breakfast and rattled off a wish list of gifts.

When Prairie Heights High School math teacher Kim Harris told him her son was safely on U.S. soil at Fort Campbell, Ky., after a tour in Afghanistan, he asked her if she was sure of his whereabouts. Her son, Army Spc. Ethan Harris, then pulled down his fake beard and revealed his identity, eliciting a hug and tears from his mother.

Harris had arrived back in the community about 40 miles north of Fort Wayne a few days earlier and hid out at his sister's house until Friday's breakfast.