Fort Hood: Soldier surprises kids at school after 5th deployment

Staff Sgt. Matthew Sanford returned home Thursday with more than 300 others after a months-long rotation in Korea, but waited to tell his kids until Friday morning when he surprised them at their schools. (Photo by Megan Vanselow)

FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) Staff Sgt. Matthew Sanford returned home Thursday with more than 300 others after a months-long rotation in Korea, but waited to tell his kids until Friday morning when he surprised them at their schools.

Daughters, Natalie, 11.5, Kourtnie, 10, Kinsley, 3 and his son Lucas 7 were all surprised to see their dad after being called into the library.

"At first I thought it was a joke," daughter Kourtnie said.

His oldest, Natalie added "I thought I was dreaming."

This is Sanford's fifth deployment, and his wife says it’s the hardest one the family has faced yet.

"It's not easy being a military wife having your spouse gone," Caren Sanford said.

This was their first deployment as a family of six.

"Even though I was able to FaceTime with them and stuff like that it's still not the same as being able to be here and hug them," Sanford said.