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Soldier Returns From Afghanistan To Surprise Kids During The Holidays

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Nancy Harty Nancy Harty
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(CBS) – A south suburban boy had his Christmas wish come true when his dad returned home from Afghanistan and surprised him during a school assembly.

Dominic Rivera’s jaw dropped when he saw his dad, Army Sgt. John Rivera, walk into the gym at Central Middle School in Tinley Park Friday afternoon.

The sixth-grader had just finished telling the principal — who was dressed as Santa Claus — that what he wanted was for his dad to come home.

The crowd exploded in cheers when it saw the man in fatigues walk in and hug his sons.

As Dominic shyly told reporters afterward that his dad’s sudden appearance was “a little shocking,” his little brother Bryson poked him while saying “shock, shock.”

John and his wife, Janet, came up with the idea to surprise him in his classroom, but she says when she talked to the school they took it so much further.

Staff presented the family with gift cards for movies, meals and entertainment for them to enjoy while John is here for two weeks before heading off to his next deployment in Arizona.

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