BOLLINGER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - It's the holiday season and for many with family members serving overseas, almost nothing makes one feel better than when a family member returns home for the holidays.
One soldier from Bollinger County, Missouri surprised his kids on Wednesday, Nov. 30, just shorty after returning from Afghanistan.
As Army Staff Sergeant Nathan Nenniger stepped into a large gift box to surprise his three young kids he talked about how much he missed his children.
"It's not a day goes by that I didn't think about them," Nenniger said.
He boarded a plane to Afghanistan in March, for what he thought would be a 13-month deployment.
"When I first got there," he said. "It was pretty hard, after about the third month though, you kinda get into a groove and you grow into it, you think about it all the time, but it doesn't become so hard to carry on."
"They didn't have a full understanding of how long he was going to be gone," Jessica Nenninger said. "We did tell them that daddy was going to be gone with the army for awhile."
Now, nine months after saying goodbye, Nenninger is home on a short leave for the holiday season.
It's the gift that was at the top of all their Christmas lists.
But instead of ripping open gifts, Jessica had another surprise in mind.
Outside, Jessica wrapped a life-size box with a bow.
Little did the kids know; their dad was inside the early Christmas gift.
Take a look below at the moment Nenniger surprised his kids.
"It's awesome. I couldn't ask for anything more, especially for Christmas time, than to spend it with these little guys and my wife and the rest of my family," Nathan Nenniger.
The kids wasted no time running down the list of what they hoped Santa would bring.
Nenninger will only be here for two weeks, but the family said they have fun and relaxing plans prepared ahead.