By Paul Burton

LYNN (CBS) – First Class Army Sgt. Brenda Beaton secretly returned home from Iraq on Friday night.

Sgt. Beaton planned on surprising her mother and all of her friends and family Saturday night at The Lynn Christmas Eve parade, a huge tradition in the city.

More than 100 trucks and cars covered in Christmas lights and ornaments paraded through the city as families gathered outside their homes spreading holiday cheer.

WBZ-TV’s Paul Burton reports.

In the midst of that joyous crowd was Sgt. Beaton, who said she was “more nervous” about seeing her family than she ever was in Iraq.

Finally, the time came. Riding in Santa’s sleigh, she then made her way down Euclid Avenue for the long-awaited welcome home.

“It feels so good to be with family. I missed Thanksgiving because I was in Iraq. But now, on Christmas, being with family, to me, that’s all that counts,” said Sgt. Beaton.

Brenda’s brother Bob helped plan her surprise return home.


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