LITTLE ROCK, Ark – An Arkansas soldier had a heartwarming return home after being deployed for the past six months.

Second Lt. Justin Legris has spent that time with the Army National Guard at Fort Leonard Wood for training and Fort Benning for Officer Candidate School.

This weekend the father and schoolteacher surprised many with his return, making not one but two specials moments with those missing him back home.

Legris’ return home to Arkansas this weekend was a welcome one and a surprise for his two children, Elizabeth and William.

They were at the Little Rock Zoo to see the animals, but when it was time for the miniature horse to come out, the kids never imagined it would be their dad leading it out to say hello.

The zoo is a special place for the family and was the last place they were all together before Legris was deployed.

“We came to the zoo the day they dropped me off at the hotel when I left,” he recalled.

With that history, it only made sense that the zoo was the first place the family was reunited after his deployment.

The surprise visits did not stop with a trip to see animals, though. Legris is also a music teacher at Springhill Elementary in Greenbrier.

His students thought they would be watching a livestream of his graduation on Monday but instead were thrilled to see the beloved teacher walk into the classroom.

As for Legris and his family, the plan is now getting ready for a party to celebrate daddy’s return, a gift for which the whole family is thankful.

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