Scott City soldier surprises family for Christmas - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Scott City soldier surprises family for Christmas

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The special dinner was his gift to them. The special dinner was his gift to them.
The Army medic said he hadn't been back to the Heartland in one year. The Army medic said he hadn't been back to the Heartland in one year.
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On Friday night a Scott County family was set to gather at the Red Lobster in Cape Girardeau for a special holiday dinner.

The tab was being paid for by Specialist Jesse Venable of Scott City who told his mother and other family members that he would not be home for the holidays.

The special dinner was his gift to them.

Spc. Venable is with a platoon out of Fort Riley, Kansas and he had served seven months in Afghanistan before having a seizure.

Venable says it had never happened to him before, and he has since been undergoing treatment.

He hopes to be cleared for duty again very soon.

Meanwhile, the Army medic said he hadn't been back to the Heartland in one year.

"I told my mom they were sending me back to Afghanistan," said Venable.

He told the white lie so his mother, Cindy Joyce of Benton, would not be suspicious.

Once the family gathered at the restaurant, Venable, who once worked as a waiter at Red Lobster, grabbed a tray full of biscuits and headed to the table full of family members.

His mother immediately jumped to her feet, and hugged her son.

"It's tears of joy, I'm just so happy he's home, " said Cindy Joyce.

Venable brought flowers for his mother, grandmother, and Glenda Cassout who along with her husband Jay served as Venable's guardians since Venable was 14 years old.

"Words can't describe it, we are just so blessed he is here," said Glenda Cassout.

Specialist Venable says he misses his comrades who are still serving in Afghanistan.

"They are doing a great job over there, " said Venable.

He said one of his fellow servicemen died during their time in Afghanistan.

"It was really hard, I was his medic, " said Venable.

He hopes everyone here at home doesn't forget about the sacrifices continuing to be made.

He wants others to remember those servicemen and women who are serving overseas and here at home that won't be able to come home for Christmas.

Specialist Venable says surprising his family was an amazing feeling.

"I can't even put it into words what it means, " said Venable.

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