LEWISVILLE, N.C.-- After being deployed overseas for more than a year, one Triad dad gave his kids quite a surprise Thursday as he returned home.

Chief Warrant Officer Kevin Tiddy, of Lewisville, N.C., showed up at Lewisville Elementary Thursday afternoon to surprise his four kids, MyFox8News reports.

He and his wife, Rhonda, concocted the plan in secret.

The family kept in contact with Kevin via Skype and other Internet-based technologies, but they said it's nowhere near as good as the real thing.

"I'm really happy to have him home," said Lauren, one of Tiddy's children.

"I'm just ready to get back to life as normal," Kevin said.

The family actually waited to celebrate Christmas until Kevin returned home. Rhonda joked that she was looking forward to finally taking her decorations down.

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