NEWBERN, Tenn. (AP) -- Five children got an early Christmas surprise when they unwrapped a large present to find their father, a soldier on leave from service in Afghanistan.
The State Gazette reports U.S. Army Sgt. Raymond Warden hadn't seen his children since his deployment in April.
The Newbern soldier said it was his family's idea to surprise the children, ages 2 through 6, at Christmas.
The children went to the Dyer County Rescue Squad to meet Santa. That's when they got the special package.
The surprised children yelled, "Daddy!" and hugged him.
Warden said the experience was one he will always cherish.
He is home on leave until the beginning of January.