Father home from deployment surprises kids at Swansboro school

SWANSBORO, NC (WITN) An unexpected but exciting surprise for two students at school Monday in Eastern Carolina.

A fun game of kickball turned into quite the homecoming at Swansboro Elementary.

Two brothers came to school expecting a normal day of classes and recess, which included a game of kickball. But little did they know, an unexpected homecoming was in store for them.

Max and Eric Edens were lining up at the plate, getting ready to kick when the umpire tapped them on the shoulder and took off his mask. Underneath was the boys dad Matt, a Cherry Point Marine who has been deployed for six months.

His wife Deborah says she wanted her kids to have a special welcome home from their favorite coach. "I just wanted them to be surprised. I felt like they deserved it. They've been troopers and I wanted them to have something special"

Eric says, "It feels really good to see him because we haven't seen him in a long time."

Over the past six months Deborah got creative, and found a way to ensure her husband never missed a game with their own take on Flat Stanley, who they refer to as "Flat Matt," a life sized cardboard cutout they took with them.

After stopping at Swansboro Elementary the family was headed to surprise Max and Eric's older sister, Autumn at her school and then they were headed home to surprise their two youngest siblings.

When asked what's planned now that their dad is home, the boys said, "Some baseball, swimming, go get some ice cream, go on the boat."