Marine surprises his family by coming home in time for the holidays

APPLETON, Wis. (WHDH) — A Mid-West family is in the holiday spirit a little early after Santa pulled off an early Christmas gift that their kids won’t soon forget.

Marine Sgt. Troy Niedland surprised his family on Saturday by coming home to Wisconsin early from his deployment.

“Honestly none of it felt real until right in this moment when I walked in the tent,” Sgt. Niedland said.

His sons haven’t seen their father in seven months while he was stationed in Japan.

When one of the boys wrote a letter to Santa asking for his dad to come home, Santa worked his magic which felt like a gift to his mom and dad as well.

“I have butterflies so bad,” Mary Niedland said.

“You don’t realize how much you miss until you’re gone for that amount of time,” Sgt. Niedland said. “Just as an example when I left Harvey, the younger one, he was still babbling. And now he can string full sentences and talk.”

Sgt. Niedland also shared a message for the men and women serving overseas who won’t be able to see their families during the holidays.

“Thank you for doing what you have to do so that I can come home and be with my family,” he said. “Then maybe in the future, we will reciprocate that so that you can be home and I’ll be in your place.”

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