PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Two Region 8 kids received a surprise at the George Ray's Drag Strip when their dad, who was deployed to Kuwait, met them before the races.
Tristen Watkins and Kaley Nichols were told they would start the races Sunday by releasing balloons into the air.
What they didn't know was that their dad returned home after a year-long deployment.
Sergeant Thomas Nichols with the Army National Guard said he was glad to be back with his family and explained what he planned to do now that he was stateside.
"Spending time with my family," Nichols said. "The little ones, I haven't seen them in so long. Been back since last week, me and my wife spent a couple days together, but me and the little ones, we are going to hang out."
His wife, Sheena Nichols, said this deployment was a long one and that their kids seemed to be in shock when they saw their dad.
She said she is just happy to have the family back together again.