Soldier's surprise homecoming leaves family in tears - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Soldier's surprise homecoming leaves family in tears

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NEW KENT, VA (WWBT) -

An Army soldier just back from Afghanistan makes a surprise visit to his son's middle school in New Kent - leaving his family in tears. It was a touching reunion that took a lot of effort to pull off. Major Ron Henley worked with his children's schools and his wife to give his three kids a surprise they won't soon forget.

It's an emotional moment Bryce Henley never saw coming.

"They opened the curtains and my dad came out," the 12 year old said.

His father just back from Afghanistan here to surprise his three children he's returned from his 5th tour abroad.

"I was sitting in the chair and I looked up and all I saw was my dad come home," said 10 year old Taylor Henley.

That's when she ran into her father's arms -- in front of the entire 7th grade class.

"Because I love him and I missed him," she said in tears.

School staff members were in on the set-up. Students were told they were coming to a special assembly to celebrate test scores. One winner would be called up to win a special prize, but it was rigged. Bryce was the only name in the container - and the special presenter would be no one but dad himself.

"It was definitely something special, something to remember," said Major Ron Henley.

His 4 year old son was there too. The Army major was able to pick him for the first time in 6 months. Little Emmitt buries his head onto dad's shoulders.

"He's never experienced him being deployed other than when he was just a baby so he's never experienced this. We were wondering how his reaction was going to be," Kim Henley said.

The moment was bittersweet.

"There's a misconception of soldiers that the fear is the bombs and bullets and loss of life, when the reality for the soldiers and family - the fear is what you can't control and what you can't control is what's going back home with your family," Major Henley added.

Half a year later, his family is doing just fine. The kids are relieved to be re-united with their personal hero.

"He left 6 months ago to go to war and I was really sad," Taylor said.

"He's the kinda guy that's got your back….put his life on the line for us," Bryce added.

Major Henley has a year left of active service in the Army. Prior to his recent tour to Afghanistan, he also served in Iraq.

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