US army soldier surprises mom at wedding after 3 years away


There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

A Guyana bride was moved to tears after her son, a US soldier, surprised her at the altar after being away for three years, as seen in a touching clip. The tearjerking event happened this past winter but is only now making waves — and “waterfalls” — across social media.

“I was in utter shock and speechless,” bride Colice Parris, 45, told T&T Creative Media of the moving moment, which occurred in her native Guyana on Jan. 10, 2021, as she was tying the knot with her now-husband Rolf Baird, 46.

In the heartwarming video, the officiating minister can be heard asking, “Who here gives this woman’s hand in marriage?” whereupon a familiar voice yells out, “I do.”

Raphael Holder dances with his mom, Colice Parris, on her big day.
T’Anna Parris /

All of a sudden, Parris’ son, Raphael Holder, 23 — a US Army member stationed at Fort Drum, NY — emerges from the crowd and strolls toward his mother, who is rendered speechless at the sight of him.

“Upon looking over my shoulder, in the direction from where the response came, I saw Raphael walking towards the altar,” recounted the dumbstruck parent. Holder is then seen embracing his mother as she melts into sobs of joy.

The surprise appearance marked the first time Parris had seen her son since his army graduation ceremony, at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, in November 2017.

Since then, Raphael has been stationed in the US, which meant being far away from his beloved parent at home in South America.

Holder and Parris.
Holder (right) and Parris.
Raphael Holder /

However, Raphael wasn’t going to miss his mama’s wedding day, and so he was granted leave to pop down to Guyana and surprise her.

To help keep his plans a secret, the adoring son spoke to Parris the night before the wedding and pretended he was heartbroken about not being able to attend the ceremony.

The trick worked like a charm. “I really wasn’t expecting to see him,” gushed Parris, adding that both her guests and everyone who viewed the videos and photos “were moved to tears” over the unexpected wedding crasher.

Speaking on reuniting with family, the proud mom said, “Always have an open mind — I was closed, because I truly didn’t expect to see my son on my special day, but the video and pictures proved otherwise.”

Holder serves with the U.S. Army and is currently based in Fort Drum, New York.
Holder (left) serves in the U.S. Army and is currently based in Fort Drum, New York.
Raphael Holder /

This isn’t the first time a military service member surprised his mom after being away serving his country. In 2019, a Georgia woman — who last saw her son seven months prior, when he deployed to Afghanistan — was overcome with emotion when he showed up at her place of work — a sightseeing trolley.


About the author


Kathy Lewis

Kathy Lewis is an all-around geek who loves learning new stuff every day. With a background in computer science and a passion for writing, she loves writing for almost all the sections of Editorials99.

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