Hampton, Va. - Sergeant Major James Holmes has spent the last year in Afghanistan deployed with the U.S. Army's 4th Sustainment Brigade out of Ford Hood, Texas.
During that time, he's participated in Skype sessions and shared pictures with his nine-year-old son Aiden's class at Armstrong School for the Arts in Hampton.
Unbeknownst to his son, Holmes returned home this week and set up a surprise reunion at the school with the whole family.
NewsChannel 3 was there as Holmes was reunited with his son and took part in a few activities with the class.
"Just knowing your family's okay, just to see them and touch them. I watched my kids grow up over Skype for the last year, so it's good to touch them," Holmes said.
Holmes' wife, Dorothy has been holding down the fort while he has been gone and is happy to have him back.
"I've been doing it for some years now whenever he has to deploy. It never gets any easier. Without a strong support system of teachers, family and friends, we wouldn't be able to do it," she says.
Aiden and his sister were able to take the rest of the day off of school to hang out with dad!