SPARTA, Wis. -- For many, the holiday season is about spending time with friends and family. For soldiers serving overseas, that isn't always possible. But Thursday, a kindergartner at Lawrence-Lawson Elementary was in for a big surprise.
Tech Sgt. Jeff Schamens has been away from his family serving in Kuwait for about the past six months.
He flew home Tuesday with 40 other members of the 133 U.S. Civil Engineering Squad. Thursday, he was delivering a rather large Christmas present to someone very special.
Six-year old Brodie Schamens can't wait for Christmas to come and besides the toys, he's got only one thing on his wishlist. “Dad,” said Brodie.
Little did Brodie know, his Christmas present was coming early this year.
“He's hoping I'll be home for Christmas but just don't know for sure,” said Tech Sgt. Schamens, Brodie's father.
“When I heard the knocking on the door I thought it was Santa Claus,” said Brodie.
Tech Sgt. Jeff Schamens officially made it home to Sparta on Thursday morning after a six-month deployment to Kuwait.
When he was gone, it was also a battle for his wife, Bobbie, at home.
“It's not easy,” said Bobbie Schamens. “You have such great support when he here and then he's gone and you just don't always know how that's going to work out. So, it's just good to have him home.”
And it was the little things Tech Sgt. Schamens missed the most while he was overseas.
“Just haven't seen him for almost seven months,” said Tech Sgt. Schamens said about his son. “You just miss holding him and hugging him and just being there for him.”
So, as Brodie and his family enjoy an early Christmas present this year, he has a special message for all of the military families out there.
“Thank you for all the other soldiers that were deployed and fighting for our country,” said Brodie.
Brodie said the first thing he wants to do with his dad is taking him outside for a snowball fight and Dad says having lived in the hot heat in Kuwait for six months, he says ready for a little snow.
Although President Barack Obama announced earlier this year all soldiers in Iraq will be home for the holidays, about 4,000 troops will remain in Kuwait for at least a few months to help finalize the move out of Iraq.