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Big brother uses Santa for a surprise

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It is a big deal when Santa visits a school. At Gilbert Elementary, however, Santa had a special guest with him that left one little girl nearly in tears.

 Santa and Mrs. Claus, played by School Board Vice President Zeke Mendoza and his wife Liz, visited Gilbert ES December 14 and they had Jesse Ramirez with them. The soldier had just returned from seven months in Fayetteville, North Carolina and wanted to surprise his sister.

 Fifth grader, Faith Gonzalez was eager to meet jolly ol’ Saint Nick but when she was called to the computer lab and saw her big brother, she ran right to him, bypassing Santa all together. Faith clung on to Jesse for several minutes and still wouldn’t let go when it was time to take a picture.

 Specialist Jesse Ramirez is a 2009 Harlandale High School graduate and is serving in the United States Army. He will be spending the holidays with his little sister, Faith, and his family before returning to North Carolina on January 1.