Soldier surprises mom at police officer swearing-in ceremony

IRVING, Tx. -- A soldier came home for the first time in over two years to give his mother a sweet surprise on a special day.

According to CNN, Erika Benning was poised to become one of the Irving Police Department's newest officers when her son, 21-year-old Army Sgt. Giovanni Pando arrived to pin the badge on her uniform.

Pando is stationed in Germany, but Benning's husband helped the police department coordinate the sweet moment. Though they've been apart, Benning said they try to talk every day.

"He's the reason why I breathe every single day. He's the reason why I wake up every morning. He's my world," said Benning.

"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."

Benning said she had wanted to be a police officer since she was a child, but she had to put her dream on hold when she gave birth to her son.

Pando said when his time in the Army comes to a close, he wants to follow his mother's lead and become a police officer.

"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. If you want something, work for it and you'll achieve your goal," Pando told CNN.
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