If you or someone you care about is in the US military, you know that work can take you away from your family for long periods of time. Jonathan Hill, a Boatswain’s Mate First Class, had been out of the country for a year.

Jonathan’s time away from his family was almost over, which was good news. And he planned to be there for his two kids in a big way.

Landon, who was 15, and Jaliya, who was 8, were told to join the other North Muskegon High School students in the gym. They didn’t know that their father was the honored guest at the meeting.

Jonathan made his way through the halls. He had just flown from his base in Bahrain to London and then to Detroit Metro. After getting here by plane, the scariest part was waiting to walk through the doors and into the gym.

This surprise meeting before spring break had been in the works for a month. The teachers at North Muskegon High School had kept this reunion a secret, but the secret was finally out.

As soon as Jonathan walked into the busy gym, his worries went away. Landon and Jaliya started crying and ran to their father, who was waiting for them. The people around them started to cheer.

Jonathan had been looking forward to this important moment for a long time. Jonathan said, “Getting almost tackled by my son was the best feeling I’ve had in a year.”