Tear-jerking moment US soldier surprises mother at her wedding after more than three years apart

This is when a mother screams in shock when her son, an American soldier, whom she hasn’t seen in over three years, surprises her on her wedding day in Guyana.

Heartwarming footage shows Raphael Holder, 23, yelling “I do” as the pastor asks, “Who here is shaking this woman’s hand in marriage?” while his mother Colice Paris sits at the altar with her husband-to-be.

His mother, 45, screams in shock, her mouth wide open as Raphael strides forward after traveling more than 3,000 miles from his base in Fort Drum, New York.

It is Colice’s first time seeing her son since his passing out ceremony in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, in November 2017.

Since then, Raphael has lived in the US which meant he was separated from his mother who lives in their native Guyana, South America.

During the surprise, Colice said there were no dry eyes in the house.

She said, “When I looked over my shoulder, in the direction from which the answer came, I saw Raphael walking toward the altar.

“Everyone who was there at the time and everyone who watched the videos and photos all said they were moved to tears.”

Colice Parris (pictured), who lives in Guyana, lets out a cry of shock when her Fort Drum, New York-based soldier’s son shows up unannounced on her wedding day

Raphael Holder (pictured), 23, hugs his mother as she sits by the altar next to her now-husband, Rolf Baird, 46

Raphael Holder (pictured), 23, hugs his mother as she sits by the altar next to her now-husband, Rolf Baird, 46

Raphael (pictured) beams with joy at the wedding guests, who have arrived from the US to surprise his mother, whom he had not seen in over three years

Raphael (pictured) beams with joy at the wedding guests, who have arrived from the US to surprise his mother, whom he had not seen in over three years

Son Raphael holds his mother's hand as she sits next to groom Rolf Baird (pictured)

Son Raphael holds his mother’s hand as she sits next to groom Rolf Baird (pictured)

Shortly after the minister on duty asked,

Shortly after the minister on duty asked, “Who here is giving this woman’s hand in marriage?” Raphael came on the scene, shocking his mother and sending her into a state of utter delight and disbelief

Son Raphael, who posed next to his mother, doubled the surprise factor by calling her the night before to apologize for not being able to get leave to attend her wedding in Guyana - little did she know he was about to have a surprise and memorable entrance as she sat unsuspectingly at the altar

Son Raphael, who posed next to his mother, doubled the surprise factor by calling her the night before to apologize for not being able to get leave to attend her wedding in Guyana – little did she know he was about to have a surprise and memorable entrance as she sat unsuspectingly at the altar

The family portrait after the wedding ceremony includes soldier's son Raphael, who made a shock at 11 a.m. on Mother Colice's special day

The family portrait after the wedding ceremony includes soldier’s son Raphael, who made a shock at 11 a.m. on Mother Colice’s special day

The footage, recently shared online, was filmed on January 10, 2021, as Colice was about to marry her now-husband Rolf Baird, 46.

But for her wedding, Raphael wanted to do something special for his mother, so he got the time to go to Guyana.

To avoid Colice’s surprise, Raphael spoke to her the night before the big day, too, pretending he was devastated that he still couldn’t see his mother.

Colice hadn't seen her son in three years, with his military career taking him to Fort Drum, New York, while living more than 3000 miles away in her native Guyana, South America

Colice hadn’t seen her son in three years, with his military career taking him to Fort Drum, New York, while living more than 3000 miles away in her native Guyana, South America

Raphael's fainting ceremony, in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, in November 2017 was the last time Colice had seen her son

Raphael’s fainting ceremony, in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, in November 2017 was the last time Colice had seen her son

Colice, pictured with her son, said his stunt on her special day moved her and many of the guests to tears

Colice, pictured with her son, said his stunt on her special day moved her and many of the guests to tears

“I was totally shocked and speechless because I had spoken to him the night before – I really didn’t expect to see him.

“Always keep an open mind – I was closed because I really didn’t expect to see my son on my special day, but the video and photos proved otherwise.”

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