Navy mom re-united with son after nearly a year - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Navy mom re-united with son after nearly a year

Posted: Updated:
HOVEN, S.D. -


Hoven, South Dakota
As the old saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. But try telling that to a parent who hasn't seen her child in nearly a year.

Even though Mothers' Day is a few weeks away, one South Dakota military mom is getting her present a bit early, and her son, the surprise of a lifetime.

Chief Tara Mayes of the U.S. Navy started planning her surprise road trip months ago, and it was a secret a whole town had to keep.

"My sisters planned the whole thing," she said.

Mayes has been in the Navy for almost 13 years, and with that job comes some hard trade-offs.

"It's been so long since I've been able to hug my child that it's all I can think about," she said.

Mayes works on a destroyer, cruising on the high seas thousands of miles away. She has been to Greece, Bahrain and Dubai, among other places.

But she hasn't been home – and hasn't seen her son since May.

"There are days when you feel like, ‘Oh, I'm a terrible parent because of this,' but when I re-enlisted I asked him, 'Are you OK with me staying in the military?' he said, "Yeah, I can do that...we can handle it.'"


But she was still "pretty nervous" about seeing her son, who is now 10.

"I'm afraid he's going to be bigger than me," she said.

Zach Mayes was led to believe the day was a special day to honor members of the military and had no idea his mother was only a few feet away.

"it's one of those things you really can't explain to anybody unless they've been through it. You go so long without being able to touch your children," she said. "It's amazing and nerve-wracking at the same time."

"It's very exciting - very exciting and sad because I really missed her," Zach said.

Mayes said she was deeply appreciative of all her town had done to help.

"I seriously wouldn't have been able to do it without his teachers and family. You've really got to know that people are taking care of your kid," she said.
In May, she will be stationed in Mississippi for shore duty over the next three years and Zach will come with her.

  • Iraq's top Shiite cleric appeals to politicians

    Iraq's top Shiite cleric appeals to politicians

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:38 AM EDT2014-08-01 11:38:15 GMT
    The United Nations says 1,737 people, mostly civilians, were killed in Iraq in July, marking a dramatic decline from the previous month, when some 2,400 people were killed as Sunni militants swept across large...
    Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric is appealing to politicians not to be "an obstacle" in the process of transition as Iraq nears a deadline to select its next prime minister.
  • 35 killed, soldier missing as Gaza truce unravels

    35 killed, soldier missing as Gaza truce unravels

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:22 AM EDT2014-08-01 11:22:40 GMT
    A three-day cease-fire in the Gaza Strip has gone into effect following heavy Israel-Hamas fighting.
    A Gaza cease-fire quickly unraveled Friday as violence erupted in and around the southern town of Rafah, with 35 Palestinians killed by Israeli shelling and the military saying one of its soldiers may have been abducted.
  • Large expert team reaches Ukraine crash site

    Large expert team reaches Ukraine crash site

    Friday, August 1 2014 6:33 AM EDT2014-08-01 10:33:39 GMT
    Ukrainian authorities said Friday that at least 10 government troops were killed in an ambush by pro-Russian separatists in an area near the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but international inspectors...
    A team of several dozen international investigators descended Friday on the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash site in eastern Ukraine to begin combing an area now designated as a crime scene.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.