Video: Soldier surprises mom at her police swearing-in ceremony

Officer Erika Benning’s son made a surprise return home for the occasion

By Amanda Lien

IRVING, Texas — A soldier came home for the first time in more than two years to surprise his police officer mother on a special day.

A video shows 42-year-old Erika Benning, a new police officer with the Irving Police Department, burst into tears when her son, 21-year-old Army Sgt. Giovanni Pando, steps forward to pin the badge on her uniform.


All swearing-in ceremonies are special but every once in a while one tugs at your heart strings a little more than others. Yesterday, at Officer Benning's swearing-in she was surprised to find out that her son, who has been stationed over seas and has not seen in over 2 years, would be the one pinning her badge. #ComingHome #MotherSon #Military #SwearingIn #IPDCares #Family #VolumeUp #JoinIPD

Posted by Irving Police Department on Friday, January 31, 2020

"When my son came around the corner and I realized that this was real, my breathing just started to slow down, and everything just felt really tight," Benning told CNN. "I just didn't want to pass out because I wanted to enjoy every moment of it."

Pando is stationed in Germany but, with the help of Benning’s husband and the police department, was able to make his surprise appearance on Friday. Benning told CNN she had wanted to be a police officer for most of her life but put that dream on hold when she gave birth to her son.

"She's never let something stop her from achieving what she wants. And while raising me, that's always something she's preached to me,” Pando told CNN. “If you want something, work for it and you'll achieve your goal.”

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