U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Charles Smith III surprised his mother on Mother’s Day at the Southern Pines IHOP restaurant.
From 2,188 miles away at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, Smith contacted IHOP manager Maaza Henry to help organize the surprise, and her team worked with the media in keeping everyone updated on the exact moment.
“Oh my God,” Smith’s mother, Roxanne Catherine Guagliardo, said as she wiped tears. “My boss was in on it too. He told me to go there for Mother’s Day, and I didn’t want to because it was a family tradition. He kept telling me they had something for me, and it was a big to-do.”
Smith has lived in Whispering Pines since May 2002 with his family and said he and his mother are close.
“I had a quick visit six months ago,” Smith said about Thanksgiving. “She calls me every year on my birthday at midnight because she wants to be first to call. It says a lot for someone to set their alarm like that,” he smiled.
Smith’s stepfather was also at the Mother’s Day breakfast. Smith said even though his mother and stepfather, Richard Fur, are not married, he considers them married because he’s known him since he was 8 years old, and he is now 29.
Smith is a missile control content controlman and oversees protocol.
Feature photo: Richard Fur (left), U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Charles Smith III and his mother celebrate Mother’s Day at IHOP restaurant in Southern Pines.
Article, photo, and video by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Stephanie M. Sellers.