Father returns home from Navy to surprise kids for Christmas - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Father returns home from Navy to surprise kids for Christmas

Santa Claus rolled in a huge surprise for three Benton, Mo. students. Santa Claus rolled in a huge surprise for three Benton, Mo. students.
BENTON, MO (KFVS) -

One Heartland family got an early Christmas surprise better than anything Santa could have brought them.

Jason Barney, who has been with the Navy for 13 years, returned home Thursday just in time for Christmas. 

It seemed like a typical Christmas-themed school assembly but there was a surprise in store for three unsuspecting students in the sea of red and green.

After, Kyll, Brittyn and Berlin Barney helped Kelly principal Tracy Siebert read a story about fathers in the military, the man himself, Santa Claus, rolled in one of the biggest presents for the siblings to open together.

"It has been a long time since I have seen them, I was wondering how they were going to react once they saw me,” said Jason Barney. 

With a little help from their classmates it was time for the big reveal.

"The first thing Berlin said, she asked me if I was real. I started laughing," Barney said.

It has been 330 days since U.S. Navy 1st Class Jason Barney has seen or hugged his kids.

"You always get to hear what everyone is doing but you never get to see them or be with them,” he said.

"It kind of felt like a dream,” said Berlin Barney.

Jason Barney works as a Nuclear Engineer with the US Navy onboard the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt in Virginia.

He will have three weeks with his family before returning back to base.

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