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Soldier Surprises Sons With Reunion At Their School

Reported: Mar. 28, 2014 10:08 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 28, 2014 10:31 PM EDT
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BIG CHIMNEY, W.Va. (Taiaha Walker) -- A soldier stationed hundreds of miles away gave his two sons the surprise of their lives Friday by showing up at their school.

It was a heavy embrace and a few tears, as Xander and Bryan Jr. cherished a moment that took three long years to arrive.

Army specialist Bryan Ashley had been stationed in Hawaii. Not being able to hold his boys for the last three years was a sacrifice he had to make.

"I had to do what was best for them, so I'm coming to surprise them today at their school," he said.

Jean Ashley stepped in to help raise the boys while her grandson was away training. She's also responsible for their emotional reunion at Elk Elementary Center.

“They were very anxious to see their father, but they didn't know when he was coming, so it's going be a great surprise for them at school.”

Bryan, his new wife and baby waited in the hallway, while his kids sat in the gym, clueless and unaware that they were in for the surprise of their lives.

And then it happened - A reunion with their dad, and a meet-and-greet with the newest addition to their family.

It was a moment that took years of planning, which all agree couldn't have been planned better.

Ashley plans to relax and catch up with his boys for the next three and a half weeks, then he begins his new assignment - a little closer now, in Colorado.



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