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.