NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island second grader got the shock of the school year Monday when his dad showed up in his classroom.

His father had been overseas for the past year serving in the military. Nobody knows it better than seven-year-old Alexander Grisales, whose father has been deployed in Africa as an Army Staff Sergeant.

But little did Alexander know that while his second grade Stewart Manor School class was getting a lesson in community leadership, his dad was waiting in the hall, ready to finally reunite with him.

“Ladies and gentlemen, Alex, I’m very proud to welcome home and introduce Staff Sgt. Juan Grisales,” Alexander’s teacher announced in front of the class.

His classmates and teachers erupted with applause as Alexander fell into his dear dad’s arms.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment for the longest,” Juan tells CBS2. The moment, he says, was made even sweeter by how how his son spoke of him just before he entered the classroom.

“I was standing outside and to hear him talk about ‘my dad is a veteran,’ is a proud moment,” Juan said.

To make sure this would be a surprise, Sgt. Grisales told Alexander and his wife Dayana that he wouldn’t be home until April.

Dayana says she’s happy to have both her boys back together, with no chance of letting them go any time soon.

As for Alexander, he says he has big plans for when they get home.

“I could write a welcome back card for him,” the boy beamed.

The class also got a chance to ask Sgt. Grisales all sorts of questions about Africa and what type of car he drove while he was there.


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