A soldier deployed in Afghanistan who hadn’t seen his family in six months made it back home for Christmas to deliver a major surprise to his two young daughters, all with the help of Santa.
Sgt. Stephen Thompson slept in airports for three straight days on his way to Leavenworth, Kansas, according to CNN affiliate KMBC.
He was greeted by his wife, Sara, when he arrived at a Kansas City airport two days before the holiday.
In order to surprise the couple’s daughters, who were unaware that he was coming home for Christmas, Thompson got into a large, wrapped gift box.
A man dressed as Santa Claus then delivered it to the home. He knocked at the door, telling the young girls — 2-year-old Stella and 6-year-old Sophia– that he had a surprise for them.
“I got it as far as your driveway, but I need you two to help to bring it inside,” Santa told the excited girls.
As Santa looks on, they went outside and eagerly began unwrapping the large present in the front yard.
Much to the joy and delight of the young girls, they were greeted by their dad’s smiling face.
“Who is that?” Sara Thompson asked.
“Daddy,” one of the girls happily responded.
While still sitting in the box, Thompson lifted Stella up before giving Sophia a big hug and kissing both girls.
“Merry Christmas,” he told them.
The entire emotional and heartwarming reunion was captured on video.
Thompson explained to KMBC that the family, which is so often apart, cherishes the rare holidays they get to spend together.
“It’s always the end goal that you keep in the back of your mind when you’re going through all the hassle of going through three different countries is to get home to see your wife and kids,” he said.
Thompson will spend the next two weeks at home before going back to Afghanistan, where he is part of a team that trains dogs to detect improvised explosive devices, the television station reported.
The sergeant joined the Army one week before the September 11th terror attacks and is currently on his fourth deployment.
His deployment ends in July.
CNN contributed to this story.