SANTA ROSA BEACH — Last Friday, a Walton County native surprised her mom at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office after a two-year deployment.
WCSO Capt. Angie Hogeboom was listening to interviews in her office when there was a knock at her door.
Her daughter was on the other side.
“When they opened the door … it took me a minute to register it was her,” Hogeboom said. “I’m not usually an emotional person but I cried when I saw her.”
Naval aviation crewman Makayla Martin-Esquivel had been deployed in Japan aboard the USS Ronald Reagan. She kept in contact with her parents but she hadn’t been able to visit.
After being stationed in San Diego, Esquivel and her father began planning the trip home to surprise her mom.
“If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have been able to pull it off,” Esquivel said. “It’s hard to surprise your mom, especially when she’s a cop.”
With the help of her roommate, Esquivel did everything she could to keep her mom from suspicion. Her roommate posted pictures on social media of Esquivel at home.
Esquivel told her mom she was going to bed early when she was actually getting ready to board a plane.
“We talk every day and I FaceTime and constantly text them so I knew I had to fly at night to pull it off,” she said.
The day of her arrival her dad, Scott Hogeboom, who is a lieutenant at the WCSO, told Angie he wasn’t feeling well.
“He never calls in sick,” Angie said “I thought he was trying to get out of a detail but I got dressed for work and thought nothing of it.”
Little did she know Scott was waiting for her to leave so he could go to the airport to pick up their daughter.
“It was kind of funny because the night before she said ‘You never surprised me’ and inside I was like ‘just wait until tomorrow,’” Scott said.
During her deployment, Esquivel took pictures of her holding a sign that said “Mom, I’m fine” to send to Angie. The day she surprised her mom at her office, Esquivel had a sign that said “Mom, I’m home.”
“I was texting her in the parking lot the whole time,” Esquivel said. “She never cries. I’ve seen her cry a couple of times but she wouldn’t let me go.”
“They did a really good job surprising me and that’s not easy,” Angie said. “I love those homecoming videos and I always sent them to her so it was kind of cool that we have our own now.”
For the next few weeks, Esquivel plans to enjoy being back around her family in her hometown of Freeport before she has to head back to San Diego.
But in a few months, she’ll come back on maternity leave as she prepares to welcome her first child into the world.
“This poor grandbaby isn’t going to be able to get away with anything,” Esquivel joked. “I’m just grateful to be home right now. Everything feels normal again.”