Petty Officer 1st Class Larry Pon returned from Afghanistan a couple of days ago, but he didn't tell his children. He kept it a secret so he could surprise them at a flag ceremony at school Friday.
Little did all the students at Vail Elementary School in Temecula know how exciting Friday would be, especially the four kids in the Pon family.
While a flag ceremony was going on outside, their father, Larry Pon, was hiding inside waiting to surprise them.
The two youngest kids in the Pon family accepted their awards. Behind them, up walked their father.
Pon was in Afghanistan for more than seven months. The kids knew he was coming back soon, but they didn't know it would be this soon.
Then the other kids, the older children in the family, rush in to see their father. That's when they all knew it was real.
"It was very tough, trying to not give away the secret, and just go upstairs and give him a hug and kiss, and tell them that daddy's already home, that was very difficult," said Pon.
Pon was allowed to take his kids out of school early Friday so they could have a nice meal together and prepare for a planned weekend camping trip.