Jaden Martinez and his twin sisters, Ariana and Kaylee, didn’t expect to see their dad, Jacob, until later this summer.

But on Monday, U.S. Army aviation operation Specialist Jacob Martinez surprised his children at Hale Community School after serving in Iraq and Kuwait. Martinez arrived in Minnesota on Saturday.

When their dad walked into their classrooms, Jaden, a second-grader, and the twins, kindergartners, had nearly identical reactions: stunned silence.

Jaden said he was “surprised and happy” that his father was back. Mom Cassandra Martinez said her son’s teacher mentioned that Jaden was acting a bit withdrawn lately. Jaden recently told his mom that if his dad made it home soon it would be “miracle.”

Now, Jaden says he can’t wait to spend time playing video games like football and Call of Duty with his dad, who has also promised to coach his baseball team.

The teachers helped organize the big surprise for the children. First, Jacob surprised Jaden, who was working on an Earth Day assignment.

Then, the twins’ teachers combined their classes for story time so they could be together when their dad walked in.

Teresa Wisniewski, one of the teachers, said she had never seen the twins with such big smiles. Jacob, who was shaking with emotion, took some time to answer some question from the other kindergartners.

What do you do in the desert? “Talk to all the guys in the helicopters.”

What was the desert like? “Hot, sandy and windy.”

Have you seen any children in the desert? “None.”

After months of not seeing her father, Kaylee, had one question: “Did you get a haircut?”