What students at an elementary school in East El Paso thought would only be a video taped book reading by "a special guest" was actually a surprise reunion for two schoolchildren and their military dad, who they hadn't seen in 6 months.

The tearful reunion between Staff Sgt. Raymond Kokel and his 9 and 8-year old children, Matthew and Elena, took place earlier this week at Hurshel Antwine Elementary.

According to an article in the El Paso Times, which documented the whole thing:

The children and their classmates had been told a special guest would be reading to them in the library. When the video began, they all thought that was the surprise."

Instead, the pre-recorded video of SSG. Kokel stopped midway through, and Kokel, who had been standing behind them just a few away, walked out to the astonishment of everyone -- most especially his children who weren't expecting their dad to return until November.

Check out the heartwarming homecoming below. And welcome home Staff Sgt. Kokel.