SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Sgt. William Rhodes surprised his four children—triplets in kindergarten and a third-grader—at Bradt Primary School.

“I used to look at their baby pictures every day starting from the day they were born up until the most current picture and when I did have opportunities,” Rhodes said. “I would talk to them but it feels so great to be home.”

Their mother, Carmelissa, starred as a mystery reader for students during the assembly before the big moment, introducing students to the hero in her family. 

“I feel amazing, it’s so good to have him home,” Rhodes said. “The past 9 months has been ridiculous for all of us so it’s a nice breath, a nice relief that he’s back.” 

“It’s as of late I’ve had a family to come home to,” Rhodes said. “I’d say the first time when Jaymon was born, the first two weeks of training I went away I realized how much more difficult it is to be away from family.”

The reaction from their kids was well worth the wait.

“They said a lot of things my mom likes and I knew it was going to be mom and when they said the military guy of the book was coming in I knew it was going to be daddy.”

“I broke into tears of joy.”