Tampa military father surprises son with early return home

When the third-grader returned to his classroom it took him a moment to realize his father was sitting in his chair.

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – Like any 8-year-old, Amari Zephir took a break from class work at Philip Shore Elementary in Tampa Wednesday to enjoy recess with his classmates.

But little did he know while he was away from his classroom his father, just home from a deployment in the Middle East, sneaked into his school to surprise his son.

Before seeing his son, Ahmad Zephir said, “It’s funny because everybody is looking for his reaction, I [have] to make sure I can keep my composure when he comes in the room, I might be the one jumping up and down and acting crazy.”

Working with his teachers, the aviation technician on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt thought it would be a special way for Zephir to surprise his son.

The father added, “This is a Thanksgiving for me, I am very thankful to be home, it is a perfect way to sum it up, just in time for Thanksgiving.”

When the third-grader returned to his classroom it took him a moment to realize his father was sitting in his chair. A true jaw-dropping experience for the eight-year-old, who hadn’t seen his father since June.

“It was amazing and fun and surprisingly awesome,” Amari said.

Amari’s classmates had made welcome home posters for him to give to his father, not knowing he would actually show up at their school. As an added special gift, Amari was allowed to leave school early with his father who will be deployed again.

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