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Anakin Williams, 5, of Londonderry got a special Christmas surprise Friday when his older brother Pvt. Sebastian Williams, 18, showed up unannounced in his kindergarten classroom at Moose Hill School. (APRIL GUILMET/Union Leader Correspondent)

Soldier home for Christmas surprises little brother at school

LONDONDERRY -- When Anakin Williams wrote his letter to Santa Claus this year, the Moose Hill School kindergartner's Christmas list had only one item: to have his older brother Sebastian home in time for the holiday.

"He had us all crying that day when he told us all he wanted for Christmas was his big brother," said Dee Williams, mother of Anakin and 18-year-old Army Pvt. Sebastian Williams.

The Londonderry High School graduate completed basic combat training at Fort Jackson, S.C., in September. He recently finished aviation training at Fort Eustis, Va. On Friday morning, Dee Williams, kitchen manager at North Elementary School, picked up her elder son at the airport while an unsuspecting Anakin was still at school.

That afternoon, a uniformed Pvt. Williams, accompanied by his mother and grandmother, walked through the front door at Moose Hill School. Anakin was busy decorating gingerbread cookies in teacher Sarah Keller's class when his mother came into the room.

"Your Christmas present came a little early," she told Anakin, as Pvt. Williams appeared in the doorway, scooping up his little brother.

"I wanted you under the tree," Anakin declared, planting a kiss on his brother's forehead.

It's been a tough year for the Williams family, with Anakin spending several weeks in the hospital recently after contracting a serious blood infection.

"This is exactly what he needed right now," Dee Williams said.

Grandmother Eunice Williams said the family learned a month ago that Pvt. Williams' request to come home in December had been approved.

"It was terrible trying to keep it secret," Dee Williams said.

"We almost slipped a couple times, but Anakin didn't notice," Eunice Williams added.

Pvt. Williams returns to Virginia Jan. 2 and will receive his permanent assignment Jan. 15. He's hoping for a position in Special Operations.


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