As They Started To Pose They Noticed Someone In The Background…


The Richter Family

The Richter family hails from the state of Oregon, and like most families, they enjoy spending quality time together. It was no surprise that in March 2017 Amber, Erik, and their three children decided to take a road trip.


What Happens On Spring Break…

What was even more special about their journey was the timing, it was spring break! With this in mind, the Richters were ready to pull out all the stops to make sure they would have the time of their lives. After much deliberation between the family, they decided that the world was their oyster, so they jumped into their car full of excitement ready for an adventure. While the family was ready for a spontaneous journey, there were a few bumps in the road.


In The Hot Seat

There were some things the Richters forgot to take into consideration. One of them was the seating arrangements. Although the clan was close-knit, there was, of course, some bickering about who would sit where, but Amber nipped all of that straight in the bud. Because after all the middle seat is as close to the first class as a road trip gets. Mom and dad sat in front, while the three children squeezed in beside one another on the back seat.


A Turn Of Events

While sitting in a cramped van, what happened next would totally change this vacation for the family. After all the bickering over who would sit where and which fast food restaurants they would stop at was over, everyone piled in the mini-van seated in their designated seats. The moment had finally come, and the family was about to pull off setting sail for their spring break road trip, and then…


But First Let Me Take A Selfie

They had gotten about a mile before dad Erik quickly stopped the car. No one was sure what was happening until they Erik pull over and reach for his cell phone. This was unlike him as he never used his phone in the car. Once fully stopped, Erik took his phone and asked the family to gather together so he could capture the moment. The father ordered the family to smile to that he could get the the perfect selfie.


New Addition

In the spirit of togetherness, everyone excitedly huddled together for the snap. Erik’s son was extremely enthusiastic about the photo as he was in the process of making a scrapbook. He knew that this photo would make an excellent addition to his collection pasted onto the pages. However, not everyone was excited about posing for the picture especially Erik’s two daughters who were dressed for a long trip and not exactly selfie-ready. But this didn’t deter Erik from getting the perfect picture, or trying to at least.


Strike A Pose

“Say cheese!” Erik directed as he carefully ensured that all of his loved ones were in the frame. After a few seconds, and no sound of a shutter or flash the more tech-savvy members of his family knew something was off. After his daughter had snatched the phone, she and her sibling began to through their heads back with laughter. They realized that their dad was filming them rather than taking a picture. But all was not as it seemed.


Photo Faux Pas

“Oh, shoot!” Erik cried out after realizing his photo faux-pas. Nonetheless, the dad dedicated to capturing the perfect moment rolled with it and continued to pan the camera anyway to record the laughs and smiles on his children’s faces. Erik had a knack for turning the sticky situation into an opportunity to let out a chuckle. As Erik continued filming his family, something beyond shocking happened, and what’s more, he managed to capture the whole thing on film!


Unexpected Passenger

As the Richters were still having a good laugh at the expense of Erik’s error, a dark and mysterious hooded figure emerged from the back found. All of a sudden there was a person who appeared in the shot that the family had not seen previously. It’s clear that the figure had been hiding in the car’s rear and was about to make his presence known. However, when he did, the car was filled with blood-curdling screams.


Rowan Richter

Although their shrieks sounded like they had laid eyes upon a hatchet-bearing serial killer, it thankfully wasn’t fear that caused their dramatic screams. Instead, they were shrieks of happiness and joy. That’s because the mysterious hooded person in question was a young man they all know and love and while this may be hard to believe it’s true! The shrouded mystery man in the rear was called Rowan – and, in fact, he is Erik and Amber’s son.


No Man Left Behind

Now, we know what you’re asking yourself. Why didn’t they invite their very own son on a family road trip? It seems strange that a family that loves being together so much would leave their child out of an amazing spring break vacation. Well the reason the family was so surprised is because Rowan wasn’t supposed to be home that day, never mind in the car! Rowan was supposed to be far far away attending to more important duties.


Scary Stunt

It may have taken her a few moments to calm herself down and recover from the shock but Amber, Rowan’s mother, was delighted to have her son with her. To see her hard working boy in the back of the car was, more than a welcome surprise for Amber. “Oh my god,” she cried. “You scared the hell out of me!”  We don’t blame Amber for becoming so startled after all she was unaware that Rowan was planning this stunt, but someone else may have been.


Sweet Embrace

As the family calmed down and regrouped after the epic surprise, the hugging commenced! Rowan dived into the back seat and embraced both of his siblings, after all, they had not seen each other in quite some time, so a good squeeze was long overdue. As the children were catching up in the backseat, their mom came to a shocking realization. It dawned on Amber that her husband must have been in on the secret, but she wasn’t sure.


Popping The Question

While the idea of Eric being the brains behind the surprise was a thought that came to her mind, Amber tried to think back if she saw anything out of the ordinary. Amber began to backtrack, analyzing Erik’s behavior over the last week trying to remember if Erik snuck out for phone calls, or slammed his computer shut when she walked in the room. However after much reflection, Amber didn’t recall anything weird, so she decided to ask Erik, “Did you know he was doing this?”


Scheming In Secret

As soon as Amber asked Erik the question, his face turned bright red, and he began to laugh. Even without Erik saying a word it was clear hat Amber’s intuition was right, and Erik had indeed played a major role in Rowan’s homecoming. In fact, Erik had been responsible for picking Rowan up at the airport when his flight touched down in Oregon. Upon realizing that she had been duped, Amber playfully shouted at her husband, “You’re evil!”


Solving The Mystery

Rowan subsequently climbed to the front of the car to finally give his excitable mom a cozy cuddle. What followed was an emotional family reunion. What’s more, as the children in the backseat looked on, the whole family couldn’t help but smile brightly from ear to ear. Now that Amber had gotten to the bottom of the mystery surrounding Rowan’s appearance she felt free to enjoy the company of her son, and boy did she!



Now that the Richters were happily together and Erik was in possession of a terrifying surprise turned into a heartwarming family video, he had to decide what to do with it. While he could have kept it for himself, Erik decided to share it with the world. After filming the moving moment on his phone, Erik soon decided to post the footage on YouTube. Moreover, once live, the clip proved to be an instant hit! The video quickly clocked up more than 90,000 views.


Going Viral

Consequently, it didn’t take long before the heartwarming clip began to circulate online. The Richter family had gone viral, and they didn’t even know what to do with their newfound internet fame. While Erik Amber and their kids watched the video over and over, they also noticed that people had reactions of their own. In no time hundreds of people were commenting on the post sharing their own excitement and shock to the homemade surprise video.


Comedic Comments

Due to the emotional and thrilling nature of the short film, it wasn’t surprising that people couldn’t resist sharing their thoughts on social media. As people began to comment on the video, the Richters read each one aloud. “[I] don’t know what I liked better, Mom’s extreme reaction or the love in Dad’s non-stop smile! It’s a tie,” wrote one Facebook user. It’s incredible that the families love for one other could be felt even by others.


Another user commented “There were lots of emotion [and] hugs. [It] will always be one of my most favorite memories, nothing can compare to the love of family.” As if that wasn’t enough there was one woman who even got a little misty-eyed as she watched the video. The user wrote, “As usual, a few tears in my eyes, remembering when our family’s special Marine landed his jet.” We’re sure the Richters never imagined that their video would be getting these kinds of reactions.


To Grandmother’s House We Go

With all of the attention their video was getting, Erik and Rowan decided to embark on one last prank. This time, they would surprise another unsuspecting member of the family, Rowan’s grandmother! She was another member of the Richter clan who had no idea that Rowan had come from the Navy. Another reason why they decided to prank her is that they knew her reaction to being surprised by her grandson whom she hadn’t seen in a while would be incredible!


The Golden Child

After the Richters had hatched the perfect plan to surprise Rowan’s grandmother, it was time to carry it out. Erik called the grandmother and let her know that they would be coming over for a visit, without Rowan of course. They knew this plan would work very well because Rowan was known to be one of the grandmothers favorite children so her reaction to seeing him would be priceless. As the Richters were on their way to grandmothers they mentally prepared for the great reveal.


The Great Reveal

Once they arrived at their grandmother’s and entered the home Erik, Amber, and the children spent an about an hour catching up with her until it was time to say their goodbyes. When it came time for the children to bid their grandmother a farewell, Erik called them into another room, where Rowan was strategically hiding ready to surprise his grandmother. As Erik led his mother and the children into another room for a hug, her grandson quietly crept up behind her!


Shreik Of Terror

As Rowan crept closer and closer up behind his unsuspecting grandmother, she all of a sudden realized that there was something eerie behind her. In an instant, she whirled around, and as she did an 180, the grandmother was utterly surprised and taken aback by the sight of her grandson. Once she turned around the grandmother, let out a loud scream kind of like the shriek that the family let out when they discovered Rowan in the trunk of their car.


Shame On You!”

Nevertheless, although she was scared, Rowan’s grandmother was also very happy to see her grandson. The grandmother followed up her loud screams with a fit of laughter. Before going in to hug her grandson back, she said to Rowan, “Shame on you!” While she was happy to see Rowan, we’re sure that she wasn’t expecting that the next time she would be seeing her grandchild it would come with this kind of greeting. But alls well that ends well.


Toy Soldier

After they’d gotten over their shock, the Richters were able to enjoy some quality time together. They ate, drank, laughed, and reminisced. One of Grandma’s favorite things to talk about was how Rowan would always pretend to be a soldier when he was young. Making play forts and organizing his siblings and friends into units to play fight against one another. The family sat in their grandmother’s den for hours, but to them, it felt like minutes, and before they knew it, it was time to leave.


Back To Base

As it came time for her family to go, it was clear that the grandmother was getting nervous. She kept doing everything in her power to get them to stay. She offered them more cake and cookies, brought up more memories, and even insisted on showing them something she had recently purchased Amber, Erik, and the children caught onto this, and although they thought it was cute and wanted to spend more time with her, they had to get Rowan back to base.


Until Next Time

As Amber, Erik, and the children left the house, the grandmother gave Rowan a tender kiss on the forehead and bid him farewell. It was obvious that the grandmother was very sad to see her grandson leave especially being that she wasn’t sure when she would see him again. Indeed, once Rowan has deployed again, when they’d next meet would become a mystery. Still, next time, at least, it hopefully won’t be in the back of their car.

Off Duty

The reason why the Richter’s were so surprised to see their son Rowan was because he was supposed to be away under the close watch of the United States Armed Forces. Rowan was on active duty at the time serving with the U.S Marines, and not just as any soldier; he’s actually a Lance Corporal in the prestigious military branch. As a result of his demanding position, Rowan often finds himself away from home for long stretches of time.


World Wide Traveller

Lance Corporal is the third enlisted rank in order of seniority in the U.S. Marine Corps, just above private first class and below corporal. Indeed, as a U.S. serviceman, Rowan’s job can take him all over the world. With that said, it was safe to say that he wouldn’t miss out on a road trip with his family, but for him, it wasn’t about the places he would see but rather the time he would spend with his loved ones.