Soldier Returns from Deployment to Surprise Sons at Elementary School

ABCNews.com(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- Sgt. 1st Class Maximiliano Guerra just returned from his fourth Army deployment -- but this time, as a father, the homecoming was a little more special.

Guerra surprised his children in front of teachers and classmates at Francis Scott Key Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia, after returning from a 7-month tour of duty in Kuwait. Just in time for Father’s Day, he entered the cafeteria during a music class wearing a bee costume usually worn by a teacher. But when Guerra’s children were called up to find out who was underneath the suit, they were in for quite the shock.

“To see the kids reaction to who I was,” Guerra said, “it’s something you can keep forever.”

At first the kids seemed startled, pausing for a few seconds before jumping into their dad’s arms.

“I wanted to talk with them,” Guerra said. “I wanted to actually get them to get up and do certain things, but I couldn’t give away who I was. I had to stay in character.”

After the embrace, Guerra said he noticed his children were heavier, taller and more articulate than before he left.

As for Father’s Day plans?

“It’s not really my day,” Guerra said. “To me, it’s their weekend. I miss so many holidays. It’s missing being around the kids, and I want to do what they want to do and make them happy.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Check Also

Charlottesville mayor to issue statement on Robert E. Lee statue

Charlottesville mayor to issue statement on Robert E. Lee statueMark Wilson/Getty Images(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer will issue a statement Friday afternoon after canceling a news conference at which he was expected to "make a major announcement" regarding the local statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and the legacy of the woman killed during a protest sparked by the city's plans to remove the statue.

His news conference had been scheduled for noon on Friday, but the mayor tweeted Friday morning that "we are canceling today’s press conference and instead issuing a statement in the afternoon."

FYI all: we are canceling today’s press conference and instead issuing a statement in the afternoon. Stay tuned.

— Mike Signer (@MikeSigner) August 18, 2017

FYI, the reason for the change is we decided a statement rather than a press event was the best medium for the ideas I want to convey today.

— Mike Signer (@MikeSigner) August 18, 2017

The statement comes six days after a Unite the Right rally sparked by Charlottesville's plan to remove the Lee statue from a local park turned deadly.

The rally was attended by neo-Nazis, skinheads and Ku Klux Klan members. They were met with hundreds of counterprotesters, which led to street brawls and violent clashes.

A driver plowed into counterprotesters, killing Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring several others. The suspected driver is in custody, facing charges including second-degree murder.

Despite the "painful" event, "we’re not going to let them define us,” Signer told ABC News earlier this week of the agitators.

"They’re not going to tell our story," he said. "We’re going to tell our story. And outsiders -- their time has come and gone. This city is back on their feet, and we’re going to be better than ever despite this."

Signer compared his hopes for Charlottesville's recovery to the aftermath of the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting in June 2015 that killed nine people. The gunman in that attack said he wanted to start a race war, but the tragedy instead united the city.

"There’s a memorial right now in front of Charlottesville City Hall that’s flowers and a heart that talks about the love that we have here. Those are the images that are going to replace these horrific ones from this weekend. That’s the work that we have as a country," Signer said.

"That’s what happened in Charleston. There were those horrible images of those people bloodied and killed and weeping from the church. But they were replaced quickly, steadily, by the work that started to happen. By people who said, 'You’re not going to tell our story for us. We’re going to tell our story.'

"And that’s what’s happening in this community. That’s my work as the mayor here -- is not to allow these hateful people who just don’t get this country to define us," he said. "And they’re not going to define us."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.