The Marines marched past the video camera.
These were some of the last Marines to return from Afghanistan.
The woman with the camera hid among other wives. Her film is called, "The Surprise."
By Friday, it would be watched on YouTube nearly 1.2 million times. But this was a November morning at a California Marine Corps base where Sara Taylor of Odenton surprised her husband returning from war.
He was the tall Marine leading the march, Gunnery Sgt. Fort Taylor, whom she married seven years ago in Honolulu. He expected to be home six months earlier, and made silly faces while Web chatting with their children.
He left for Afghanistan in November 2013. He missed birthdays. He missed Christmas. He returned in August to take their 5-year-old boy to kindergarten. Then he went back to war.
That was the last time Sara hugged her husband.
She served in the Marines before work writing military news releases at Fort George G. Meade. They met while stationed together in Hawaii and went to the movies for a first date.
In seven years of marriage, they've lived together three. This was his second tour in Afghanistan.
He told her and told her not to make the trip from Odenton to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Who would watch the kids? What if his fight was delayed? He would see her by Thanksgiving, after all.
"It was just bothering me that he was going to be there without anyone," she said.
So her friend watched their son and daughter. She flew to California and, no, his flight wasn't delayed.
He marched toward her as she filmed for the children, for when they were old enough to understand.
Gunny Taylor marched his Marines past her. They dismissed. There were handshakes and smiles, other husbands hugging other wives.
Sara Taylor with her camera drew closer and closer. Then he saw her.
He lowered his head and covered his eyes.
"I was overcome," he said.
Later, they would go for burgers. The video would be posted to YouTube and people would comment thanking this Odenton family for their service and sacrifice.
"It's crazy to see it has touched so many people," he said.
But that would come later.
The moment they met she hugged and kissed him.
She wiped tears from the eyes of Gunny Taylor.
The YouTube video is at www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KDCX99g4C0&feature=youtu.be