Let’s hear it for all of those military families out there! It’s important that we all remember that it’s not just the soldiers that sacrifice, their families do too. Here is the heartwarming story of one father who comes home from Afghanistan, and gives his kids a HUGE surprise in the process. We guarantee that this sweet story will have you crying tears of joy!

Master Sergeant Jeremy Freeman of Keller, Texas had finished up a 7-month tour of Afghanistan, and instead of informing his three kids prior to coming back, he thought that he would make an even bigger memory by surprising them!

Freeman, who had just arrived back in the States a mere two hours before pulling off the big shocker, decided that it would be best to arrive unannounced at his two daughters’ basketball games.

The Master Sergeant surprised his oldest daughter Lauren and his son Stanley first. The two were sitting in the stands, waiting for the basketball game to start. Once their father entered the gym, the duo ran quickly down the steps and into his embrace. Their emotions here are absolutely palpable! You can tell that they adore their daddy.

soldier hugs his kids in front of gym bleachersCBSDFW
His younger daughter MacKenzie had to wait a bit longer to see her father. She was mid-play when she spotted her dad standing alongside her sister and brother on the side of the court. Once she saw him, all bets were off as far as the game was considered—she ran right into his arms, leaving her teammates to stand and applaud on the court as they looked on.

MacKenzie hugs her soldier dad in a gymCBSDFW
On his tough deployment, Master Sergeant Freeman explains the difficulty of being separated from his family. He told CBSDFW, “It’s been over seven months, so it’s been a long time coming.”

When Lauren was interviewed for the story, she could barely get any words out between her amazed sobs. She says, “I’m just so shocked that he’s back!” Until that day, the Master Sergeant’s kids were unsure as to whether he would even be home for Thanksgiving.

His young boy Stanley was a bit more reserved than his sisters, but he does explain that the sight of his dad walking into the gym surely was astounding. He comments, “I just thought it was, like, a pep rally or something.”

soldier carrying his son on his backCBSDFW
It truly is remarkable that the parents were able to keep this from their kids for weeks. Hats off to them for pulling that off!

The Freeman mother, April, told the news crew that this deployment was particularly rough on the family as their oldest daughter had to go into surgery around the time that Jeremy left for Afghanistan. As I said earlier, these families know a heck of a lot about sacrifice!

And one last note about this uplifting tale: Jeremy is back home for GOOD. This was his last tour abroad, and he will actually be retiring from the military next year.

Watch CBSDFW’s video below to see Master Sergeant Jeremy Freeman surprise his kids. I assure you, there won’t be a dry eye in the house!

What do you think of this military man’s surprise? Are you part of a military family? If so, how have you dealt with long deployments? Tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!