STURBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - A Sturbridge family got a gift that money can’t buy when their military dad came home earlier than expected.

National Guardsman Dan St. Clair hugged his wife Megan after arriving at the airport after he was deployed for nearly eight months.

“You can’t help but just get so emotional,” Megan said. “I kept saying to myself I am going to be strong and I just, I couldn’t. I lost it when I saw him.”

Though Megan was gate-side for her husband’s arrival, their kids, 16-year-old Logan, 9-year-old Matilda, and 6-year-old Sylvie were left in the dark.

St. Clair showed up to his daughters’ soccer match prompting them to run from the field and into his outstretched arms.

“They were overjoyed with just like, happy tears. They’ve never had happy tears before,” Megan said. “It was definitely very emotional for everybody there.”

He then went home to surprise Logan.

St. Clair has been serving for more than 20 years.  This is the longest deployment he has ever had and is happy to be home.

“He is very happy. Yes. He is having a hard time cooking though. He is not sure where everything is anymore but we are getting used to it,” Megan said. “It was really really hard. Harder than I though. But we did it.

The family plans to go to Florida next month for a vacation.

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