Sgt. Maj. Ronald Morse has spent the last 14 months in Afghanistan, the final tour of his 30-year military career.
The Nevada National Guardsman was scheduled to be home in three weeks, but when his orders were pushed up, he and his wife decided to give their kids a Thanksgiving surprise.
It happened at the Bunker Dance Studio where the youngest Morse child, Rylee Morse, was in rehearsal.
Ronald Morse walked in and was immediately embraced by his daughter and then three of his other four children who walked in moments later.
The only one in on the surprise was mom Tammy Morse, who wanted to create an unforgettable way to bring a family together that is so often apart.
"Military kids take a lot," Tammy Morse said. "They get all the bad, not always the good. Just to give them this gift, the excitement. It was hard to pull it off but it was good."
"It's pretty awesome," said son Kyle Morse. "He's gone an awful lot. But the times he's here, it's worth it."
"It would have been special anytime," said Ronald Morse. "But just a little more emotional around the holidays."
Tonight the Morse family has a lot to be thankful for - being together, being safe and for one little girl, being able to look her father in the eye and wrap her arms around him.
"He's the best dad," said Rylee Morse.
One of the Morse sons is away at college back east and couldn't be here but spoke to his dad on the phone.
Ronald Morse is retiring from the military, meaning holidays at home will not be a rarity, they'll be the norm.
Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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