PLAIN TWP. Christmas came early for Plain Local students Faith Goodwin and Kairi Cota.

Their cousin, U.S. Army Pvt. Zackery Douglas, surprised them Thursday during a Oakwood Middle School basketball game. Douglas, a 2018 Perry High School graduate who enlisted in the U.S. Army in August, has been in Oklahoma since Sept. 11 for basic training.

A video posted to Oakwood Middle School’s Facebook page Thursday shows Douglas, dressed in fatigues, crossing the gym floor after Cota, 12, finishes a routine with the cheerleading squad. Goodwin, 7, can be seen rushing in from the bleachers.

Cheers can be heard as the trio hug.

  

Goodwin had asked Santa to bring her Douglas home for Christmas, said Crystal Douglas, mother of the girls and aunt to Zackery Douglas.

Crystal Douglas said her nephew will be returning to Oklahoma on Jan. 3 to finish his artillery training at Fort Sill.

“Then he will get sent away,” she said. “That’s why this break is so special to them because once he leaves we aren’t sure when he will be home.