One Coloma third grader got the surprise of a lifetime Friday, as his dad returned home from Afghanistan.
The boy thought he wouldn't see his dad until January, but the family is now reunited for the holidays.
Mike Hoffman just finished his third rotation in the U.S. National Guard. His two children have been away from their dad for many years, as he's traveled to both Iraq and Afghanistan.
But the family finally got to see each other again Friaday, when Mike showed up at Coloma Elementary, where he surprised his eight-year-old son, and was reunited with his high school daughter.
Michael was busy volunteering with the fire department visitors in his classroom when he turned around to see his father in full uniform entering his class.
Tears were flowing as Mike and his son, daughter and wife all embraced, seeing each other for the first time in over a year.
"Just everything, I miss the family, I miss home,” said Mike Hoffman of the U.S. National Guard. “Being around those I care about and who care about me, I can't describe how good it is to be home"
"It means a lot to me that he's no longer missing the little steps that our kids are making,” says Dawn Hoffman Mike’s wife. “I swear the little man has grown a foot since he's been gone, when we're all together and complete."
Hoffman has at least six more years in rotation for the U.S. Guard, but for now, will focus on spending time with his wife and kids.
North Berrien Fire Department played a huge role in making this surprise happen for the Hoffmans.
They took him to the elementary school by fire truck, and raised a significant amount of money to pay for much of his trip home.