Bentonville Veteran Surprised With Early Christmas Gifts

BENTONVILLE (KFSM) -- A local family received an early Christmas surprise from the Walmart Neighborhood Market located on SW Regional Airport Boulevard Wednesday morning (Dec. 13).

The store received the opportunity to give back to a local family and store manager Paul Hennessy wanted to make sure they were a military family.

After a few phone calls, he got in touch with the Young family.

Michael Young, a sergeant in the Army, was deployed to the Horn of Africa for a year and has been back home for less than a month.

When he went to the store, he never expected they would be going home with gifts and a free Christmas dinner.

His wife, Beneralda Young, was in on the surprise, but was still a little nervous on the ride over.

“I was just like, I don’t know what else to say but that we’re going to have a Christmas get together with my company and Walmart," Beneralda said. "And I’m going to have to tell them that they are merging somehow, doing some sort of partnership and that the celebration is going to be at the neighborhood market.”

Michael was tasked with trying out the store's new outdoor pickup tower.

First he pulled out a gift basket, then a coffee maker, a Playstation 4 and a bag of makeup.

Each gift that came out of the tower would be gifts he and his family will enjoy this Christmas.

“I was telling the kids don’t get attached, we have to give them back, they aren’t ours," Michael said. "No it’s… oh my gosh. I’m still in shock, I don’t know what to say, what to think. It was a big surprise, thank you guys.”

Their children were also a little surprised.

Beneralda simply told them that the event was for Michael, but didn't say much else.

“I thought we were going to give it back because it was in the pickup area thing," their daughter Bethany Young said. "So, when they were handing it to us, I thought they were making us hold it to give it back and then when you guys told us we could keep it, I was like what? Really?”

Hennessy also sent the Young's home with food for a Christmas dinner.

He said he wanted them to be able to enjoy it together.

After everything was done and the surprise had been revealed, Michael had just one thing to say.

“Just thank you from the bottom of my heart, from the bottom of my family’s heart," Michael said. "I don’t know how else to express, I’m still kind of I shock mode so I’m still trying to get over it but oh my gosh. I appreciate it so much. Thank you, thank you.”