COLOMA, Mich. – One Berrien County third grader got the surprise of his lifetime
His dad, a soldier in the U.S. National Guard, returned home from Afghanistan.
Staff Sergeant Mike Hoffman just finished his third tour overseas with the U.S. National Guard. His two children have been away from dad for over a year, but that changed on Friday.
The family finally got to see each other again when Mike showed up at Coloma Elementary where he surprised his eight-year-old son and was reunited with his high school daughter.
As they reunited, tears were flowing as they all embraced each other in front of Mike Jr.'s class. Staff Sergeant Hoffman says he has no words to describe how happy and blessed he is.
“Being around those I care about and who care about me, I can't describe how good it is to be home. They mean the world to me, and I'm so happy to be back."
"It means a lot to me that he's no longer missing the little steps that our kids are making,” says Dawn Hoffman, Mike’s wife. “I swear the little man has grown a foot since he's been gone, when we're all together and complete."
Hoffman has at least six more years in rotation for the U.S. Guard. However, he should be able to stay home for several more years. He plans to attend his daughter's high school graduation and help coach his son's little league team.