SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ - When Lisa Ward was contacted about hosting a soldier homecoming at her restaurant, The Daily Bread Bistro in San Tan Valley, she was thrilled.
"I get choked up just thinking about it. It's an honor for us, it really is," said Ward.
On Friday, the soldier surprised his children at the restaurant working as a waiter
"I don't know how much food I want him carrying out because I don't want it all over the floor," laughed Ward. "With their kids' reactions, it could be pretty big."
Air Force veteran Sean Yates has been deployed five times to different parts of the Middle East in the past 10 years. The 28-year old has officially been medically discharged from service, so he'll no longer have to miss any more family moments.
"Holidays, you know. Usually they're like 'where's dad, where's dad?' Well, he's gone. So I miss holidays quite a bit and everything else," said Yates.
And as the door closes on his days in the Air Force, another one opens for him, his wife, and his three sons.
The reunion was an emotional one as he brought out a plate of fries to his six year old, two year old, and ten month old.
And his wife had a hard time keeping the reunion a secret.
"It was difficult, I wanted to blab," said his wife Alexandra Yates. "I wanted to tell them. I didn't hint anything. They thought he was coming home next month."
And it's the simple things that the soldier is looking forward to the most this new chapter of family life.
"It's good, it's really good," said Yates. "I just want to go to the park."