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Published April 04, 2012, 10:17 PM

Oakes solider surprises family with homecoming

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Keeping a secret can be tough, especially when it's from your children, but one father's surprise return home from the Middle East made it all worth it for one Oakes, North Dakota family.

Keeping a secret can be tough, especially when it's from your children, but one father's surprise return home from the Middle East made it all worth it for one Oakes, North Dakota family.

For soldiers and their families, many times the hardest thing about deployment isn't the dangerous surroundings, but the fact those surroundings are so far from the ones you love. It makes the time at home that much more special. So for kids Adam and Cody Mayer, tonight's surprise homecoming was one they won't soon forget.

Bryan Mayer is part of the 188th out of Wahpeton. Stationed in Kuwait since August, he's finally home on leave, but his two sons have no idea.

Bryan Mayer – Home on Leave: “It's been very hard to keep it quiet and not tell the boys, because they've been asking a long time when I would be coming home.”

Janell Mayer – Wife of Bryan: “My husband was deployed eight years ago and he missed my sons first birthday, so when he got deployed again he said 'You're going to miss another one of my birthdays.’”

Nine year-Old Adam was wrong.

Adam Mayer - Son: “Very exciting that I could probably have a heart attack.”

As mom fights back the tears, younger son Cody latches on for a giant bear hug.

Cody Mayer - Son: “He's much smaller on the computer and he's bigger in real life.”

Bryan Mayer: “We do Skype and talk on the phone, but it's just not the same, it's never the same.”

Each has a lot of father-son time to catch up on.

Cody Mayer: “Wrestling with him.”

Adam Mayer: “Probably playing football.”

As the hugs seem never-ending, Bryan cherishes the little things.

Bryan Mayer: “Glad they still remember my face.”

Bryan will be home for two weeks before heading back to Kuwait, soaking up as many of those hugs as possible. The 188th out of Wahpeton is expected to return home in August.

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