MARYVILLE, TN - Kristin Killebrew and her three children have waited almost two months to see their husband and father.

"He left on his birthday, August 10th," said Kristin.

Her husband James was on active duty in Qatar as an aircraft mechanic crew chief.

“It’s just hard…especially when they’re this little,” she said.

“I have a good support system here especially with the in laws and my parents but it’s just not the same when you don’t have your spouse.”

Kristin and her children Emarie, Jase and Mia, all under the age of 7, were excited to pick James up from the airport on Thursday night.

“We made him a big welcome home sign... and we’re going to get him a cookie cake and just love on him.”

What they didn't know is James arrived early and surprised Kristin and the kids after school at John Sevier Elementary in Maryville.

“He’s just my best friend, you know. My other half is missing so I’m just glad to have him home,” said Kristin.