Father in Army reunites with son in kindergarten class

Kristin Thorne reports from Ronkonkoma, Long Island
December 20, 2013 4:04:36 PM PST
There was an emotional reunion for a 5-year-old boy on Long Island who hasn't seen his army father in months.

His father has gotten a two week leave and is making this a holiday his family will never forget.

The picture says it all; the heartbreak that comes along with a son being away from his soldier father for months.

But Friday, little 5-year-old Matthew Rivera got the surprise of his young life.

Matthew was supposed to pick up his dad at the airport Friday night from a training base in Texas, but Frank decided to show up a little earlier surprising Matthew in his kindergarten classroom.

"He's my son. He's the biggest thing in my life. It's very difficult to be away from him," said Frank Rivera, Matthew's father.

"Daddy!" Matthew Rivera screamed when he saw his father.

It doesn't get much more heartwarming than that.

"I haven't seen him in so long, he has grown so much," Frank Rivera said.

And Matthew noticed something different too about dad.

"I wonder how you're voice changed?" Matthew Rivera asked his father.

"It's because Daddy was yelling over there. Daddy does a lot of screaming," Frank Rivera explained to Matthew.

And it is peace and quiet that Matthew's mother Sara is looking forward to.

"Honestly, I just want to be a normal family. Stay in bed until 10 O'clock, make them breakfast. Do normal stuff, because we don't usually have that," said Sara Rivera, Frank's wife.

It will be a short trip home for Rivera. He has to return to his duties shortly after the New Year. Little Matthew says he's just looking forward to having normal play time with his father.