• 45°

A soldier#8217;s return

Aaron Cahal, 15, thought he was coming to school to be in the Christmas pageant. But he got a special surprise when his big brother, Corey Black, showed up in the audience at the Open Door School.

Aaron, who was diagnosed as autistic at the age of 2, was expecting his brother on Saturday for the holidays. But Black, stationed in the military, came in a day early to see Aaron perform as one of the Wise Men in the Christmas story.

Black went into the Navy on Jan. 23, 2007, and currently is stationed at Camp LeJeune for the Marine part of his training.

The two brothers are close, says their mother, Lorena Cahal.

“They wrestle around like brothers. They like to go cruising in the car,” Cahal said.

The surprise was part of the annual Christmas entertainment at the Open Door School.

The audience was entertained with the Open Door Bell Choir performing “Silver Bells,” under the direction of Glenda Deering. A Christmas poem was recited by Jonathan Simpson. Jacob Scott directed the Open Door Choir in “Jingle Bells,” and “Joy to the World.”

The primary grades under the direction of Vanessa Honaker and Misty Chaffins offered a rousing snowball fight to the tune of “Sleigh Ride.” And the students and staff serenaded the audience with a chorus of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”