A soldier surprised his mom as she was sworn in as a police officer

A soldier surprised his mother as she was sworn in as a police officer in Irving, Texas.

Posted: Feb 3, 2020 6:50 AM
Updated: Feb 3, 2020 6:50 AM

Erika Benning's heart was already racing as she prepared to be sworn in as the Irving Police Department's newest officer, but what came next pushed the 42-year-old mother's emotions over the edge.

Her son, 21-year-old Army Sgt. Giovanni Pando, whom she hadn't seen in over two years because he was stationed overseas, arrived at the ceremony on Friday to pin the badge on her uniform.

"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."

The police department in the Dallas, Texas, suburbs posted the moment on Facebook, writing, "All swearing-in ceremonies are special but every once in a while one tugs at your heart strings a little more than others."

Pando is stationed thousands of miles away in Germany, but with the help of Benning's husband, the police department was able to coordinate the perfect surprise.

"It was overwhelming. I felt every emotion you could think of just from being happy for her and also missing her. I was also trying to keep my composure as well," Pando told CNN, while admitting that a "little bit of tears" came out.

Benning had wanted to be a police officer ever since she was a child, but she had to put her dream on hold as she became pregnant with Pando at a young age. Pando joined the US Army after graduating from high school, and while his deployment to Germany was the first time being apart from his mother for so long, they still tried to talk every week.

"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, an immigrant from Honduras.

Once he finishes his stint in the Army, Pando said he plans to become a police officer to follow in the steps of his mother who truly inspires him.

"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 said.

While Pando returns to Germany on Friday, Benning said her swearing-in ceremony will be a moment she will remember forever.

"The only other moment that I will never forget that is more meaningful than this was the day I gave birth to him," Benning said. "So, this moment of him pinning my badge, I have to say is up there with that."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 547101

Reported Deaths: 7056
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1139831672
Ramsey47188850
Dakota41764418
Anoka37816415
Washington24550273
Stearns20738218
St. Louis16572296
Scott15682117
Wright14561125
Olmsted1264796
Sherburne1037380
Carver964944
Clay773889
Rice7506101
Blue Earth687340
Kandiyohi622679
Crow Wing603586
Chisago541549
Otter Tail537473
Benton524597
Mower448632
Douglas437270
Winona436649
Goodhue435371
Nobles397848
Morrison389159
McLeod385754
Beltrami369257
Isanti367559
Itasca362552
Polk359866
Steele354614
Becker349348
Lyon345048
Carlton325352
Freeborn323629
Pine307521
Nicollet303242
Brown292239
Mille Lacs274849
Le Sueur267622
Todd266430
Cass245926
Meeker230337
Waseca228720
Martin210729
Wabasha19903
Roseau194818
Hubbard169241
Dodge16914
Renville169143
Redwood164835
Houston162014
Cottonwood154120
Fillmore15109
Pennington149019
Chippewa144236
Faribault142419
Wadena142021
Sibley134010
Aitkin127536
Kanabec126821
Watonwan12509
Rock121818
Jackson115410
Yellow Medicine109819
Pipestone108825
Murray10189
Pope9946
Swift98018
Marshall84717
Stevens79910
Lake77919
Koochiching76412
Wilkin76312
Clearwater76114
Lac qui Parle73422
Big Stone5564
Lincoln5562
Grant5428
Norman5169
Mahnomen4898
Unassigned48278
Kittson46122
Red Lake3827
Traverse3595
Lake of the Woods2983
Cook1440

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 356437

Reported Deaths: 5797
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk55735598
Linn20229329
Scott18871234
Black Hawk15498306
Woodbury14858219
Johnson1395580
Dubuque13097202
Dallas1086796
Pottawattamie10668160
Story1027747
Warren552386
Clinton535489
Cerro Gordo520486
Webster507691
Sioux504873
Marshall476674
Muscatine456896
Des Moines440465
Wapello4250120
Buena Vista421440
Jasper407370
Plymouth395979
Lee367255
Marion354275
Jones292755
Henry286037
Bremer278560
Carroll278550
Crawford261739
Boone257231
Benton249555
Washington249149
Dickinson240443
Mahaska223849
Jackson217842
Kossuth212362
Clay209325
Tama206571
Delaware202039
Winneshiek193733
Page190320
Buchanan188131
Cedar183123
Fayette182841
Hardin179242
Wright179135
Hamilton177749
Harrison175273
Clayton166455
Butler162334
Mills158120
Cherokee156638
Floyd155042
Lyon154041
Madison153019
Poweshiek152333
Allamakee149051
Iowa145124
Hancock143334
Winnebago135731
Grundy135032
Cass134454
Calhoun133011
Jefferson130535
Emmet128240
Shelby127137
Sac126619
Appanoose126547
Louisa126349
Mitchell125241
Union123932
Chickasaw122515
Humboldt118026
Guthrie117328
Franklin112521
Palo Alto110121
Howard102622
Unassigned10010
Montgomery100037
Clarke98023
Keokuk94330
Monroe93428
Ida89233
Adair84232
Pocahontas83221
Monona80930
Davis79924
Greene76410
Lucas74922
Osceola74716
Worth7058
Taylor65112
Fremont61210
Decatur5899
Van Buren55518
Ringgold53522
Wayne51923
Audubon4949
Adams3274
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 34°
Mason City
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 34°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 39°
Austin
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 37°
Charles City
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 40°
Continued cloudy and cool conditions
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events