ONLY ON 12: Soldier who plans surprise homecoming gets surprise in return

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News 12 at 6 o' clock/ Friday, Nov. 8, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A soldier came home from Afghanistan Friday and cooked up a scheme with his wife to surprise his kids at school.

His 3-year-old son Symms is a pre-schooler at Trinity on the Hill. He and his classmates thought they were waiting for a surprise story reader this morning, when someone else walked through the door.

Captain Eric Schweser says, "I was a little nervous at first, the last time they saw me, they were much younger, I wasn't sure if they remembered me."

"It was an amazing feeling when their eyes lit up, and they said, 'Wow! Dad's really home!'"

But, that wasn't the only surprise in store today. His wife, Mary Anne, arranged for a homecoming fit for a hero, with friends and family waiting outside to surprise Eric.

"I was expecting to come to the school and talk to the boys and surprise them at their classroom, but when I came outside and saw the great reception, I was overwhelmed," he said.

Captain Eric Schweser was also able to surprise his 6-year-old son, Brooks, at school. Both boys say they still remember the day they had to tell their dad goodbye.

"The hardest part is the first part when we took him to the airport," Brooks said.

"Our children, when he first left, were 5 and 2. They don't understand what's going on," Mary Anne said,

Special occasions are tough when loved ones are overseas, and Captain Schweser has missed some big moments.

"We were blessed to get pregnant right before he deployed, so the entire deployment, I was pregnant, and on July 8, I had Rhys, our newest child, so he missed that, didn't get to see the birth."

The good news, Captain Schweiser will be home through the holidays to make up for lost time with his family.

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