WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Surprise! Major Chris Mangieri decided to surprise his kids and wife with an early homecoming.   

“You can’t really explain how it feels to see your family after being gone for so long,” said Mangieri, an oncology surgeon in the US Army. “When you are walking up, and you see your 3-year-old kid just waiting there with a sign saying dads been gone this many days, you are just glad to be home.”

He’s been away from his wife and two sons for six months. 

His family expected him to return in late March. But with the help of his son’s teacher at The Downtown School, he surprised them all weeks early.

The family thought they were attending a parent-teacher conference but instead, it was a homecoming.

“To just be able to take them to school, tuck them in to bed at night, read them a story,” is what Mangieri is looking forward to the most. “When you see them, it’s just that pure joy that just overcomes you.”