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Jefferson Camper – Surprised by Brother’s return home from the Air Force

Photo provided by Kim Mears: Alex Mears and his brother Airman Anthony Smith enjoyed their time together.

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The Camp Jefferson Summer Day Camp staff recently took part in a wonderful surprise reunion between a young camper and his brother who recently came home on leave from the Air Force.

Everyone pulled together when they learned that Airman Anthony Smith had arrived back in Byram Township, New Jersey from Texas during the middle of the night and wanted to surprise his 9-year-old brother Alex Mears at summer camp since Alex had no idea of the situation when he left for the camp that morning.

Camp Air Force Brother in1As it turned out, it was Patriotic Week at the camp, so there were beautiful red, white, and blue banners that had already been made by every camp group, and many campers were attired in the same colors. Everyone scurried and lined both sides of the walkway leading up to the soccer field where Alex was playing goalie with his camp group.

Airman Smith was escorted with his mother Kim Mears down that walkway where the banners were held high, and the staff and campers from other groups were cheering.   As they came closer to the soccer field, Alex was concentrating so hard on his goalie position that he really didn’t take notice of what was going on as his brother approached him followed close behind by his Camp Jefferson welcoming group. It took a moment or two for Alex to finally realize that this was his brother who he hadn’t seen for months and not wanting to abandon his goalie post, a little stunned, he ran over for a quick embrace only to immediately return to his soccer position!  

When he was convinced by his counselors and everyone there that it was okay and the game was suspended for a while, he ran over to his brother again for a much longer reunion.

It was an amazing experience for everyone there, and there were tears shed by many staff members to be able to do this to honor Airman Smith for his service to his country and to surprise Alex with such a special gift.   “As a family, we are blessed to have Camp Jefferson in our lives. The staff are true role models, and I will be forever grateful for so many role models for Alex,” said mom Kim Mears in her thank you letter to the Camp.

Once again, Camp Jefferson thanks Airman Anthony Smith and all those who serve in our Armed Forces for their service to our country.

Picture Above: Nine-year-old Alex Mears was taken totally off guard when his brother Airman Anthony Smith showed up at Camp Jefferson Summer Day Camp! (Photo by Aimee Hannon)

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