Mother away on deployment surprises twins for their birthday

Posted: Updated:
JERSEY CITY -

A New Jersey mother who has been away for eight months on deployment for the Navy arrived home just in time to surprise her 9-year-old twins for their birthday.

Wednesday was Jaila and Devon Crawford’s ninth birthday. But it did not start off very happy.

“I haven’t seen my mom since summer break before third grade and I felt very sad…it felt really heartbreaking,” said Jaila before breaking down crying.

The twins’ mother, Petty Officer Ashley Mitchel was been away on a mission in Africa. But she was able to get away for a while to surprise her children at their school, Sacred Heart School in Jersey City. She arrived just in time for cupcakes.

“I battled claustrophobia on the airplanes, all three, over 25 hours of flights to get here, to see them and I wouldn't trade it for the world,” Mitchel said.

“She means so much to me. She makes me happy every day,” said Devon.

The twins’ grandmother is caring for them while their mother is away.

Jaila told News 12 New Jersey that this is one her of most special birthdays. 

Mitchel will be staying with her family until the day before Mother’s Day and then she will be deployed for another five months.

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