TIFTON, GA (WALB) - An ordinary day at a Tifton elementary school turns extraordinary when a surprise guest shows up.
Staff Sergeant Barry Joiner has been in Afghanistan with The Army Reserve 381st Engineer Company from Tifton. His young sons haven't seen him in nearly a year, and teachers at the school made sure his return was a real surprise.
BB and Noah sat in the gym listening to stories and singing along with a special guest not knowing who was waiting just around the corner who couldn't wait to see them.
"It's been a long time I'm real excited to see my boys, pick 'em up and hold 'em. Be nice," said Joiner.
Joiner's wife Stacy is also in the Reserves and says it's tough, but they make it work. During his deployment Joiner talked to his wife and kids as often as he could. But seeing them in person is a whole lot sweeter.
"It gets a little rough when you do it on skype, but thank God for skype," said Joiner. "Kids grow up so fast, and a year can seem like an eternity."
"It's really great because he's been at war for a whole entire year and I just really miss it. Really awesome that he showed up in this program.
The first thing on the kids mind is Dairy Queen, and then a little alone time with dad which is the best Christmas gift these little boys could have.
But they did write down their wishes. "Other than their daddy coming home there's no telling," he said. "I still gotta look at the santa claus list."
Staff Sergeant Joiner will be spending the holidays with his boys and will enjoy every moment he is home but also says he is ready when the army calls him to duty again.