FORT RUCKER -- Col. Scott Halverson kissed his wife and kids goodbye last June and boarded a plane for Afghanistan. The Halverson's are no strangers to deployment, after all Col. Halverson has served two previous year-long deployments.
Col. Halverson was expected to return back to the United States on June 22nd. This meant that he would miss an important milestone in his son's life.
"As soon as I found out that he was going to be deploying for my senior year, realizing that he was going to be missing my graduation by just that much," his son Josh recalled. "I would have loved for him to be able to be here."
Col. Halverson's wife, Karyn, has continued their family's busy life at home with their son and two daughters, Taylor and Ashley. Although she stayed strong, she said it has been challenging.
"He's my rock," Halverson said. We just are there for each other."
During the time of the interview with WTVY, the children thought they were the focuses on a story about military families. What they did not realize was not only would their dad make it home for Josh's graduation on May 22, he was standing right behind them.
"My wife and I we kept it a surprise so I could be here to surprise the kids, somehow, someway," Col. Halverson said.
As the family prepares to move to Fort Lewis in Washington next month, the children are ecstatic to have their American hero back in their arms.
"My dad, he's amazing," daughter Taylor said. "He's fought for our country, he's been with our family through everything, everything. He's gone to everything that he could."