POWELL, Tennessee -- Two years is too long for a little girl to be away from her big brother.
Long deployments can take away too much family time. That's why Gabriel Spears didn't want to give the surprise away.
"I'm coming home for Christmas, and she has no clue I'm coming back," Spears said.
While Ms. Henry's first grade class at Copper Ridge Elementary in Powell visited with Santa, first grader Megan Brown's biggest Christmas gift was one she had no idea she was getting.
"My heart's beating fast right now," Spears said, as he waited outside his little sister's classroom door.
"Megan, I came all the way from the North Pole to see you this morning," Santa told the 6-year-old. "But there's a fella that came even further than to see you."
Megan turned around and ran into her big brother's arms.
Spears is a U.S. Army infantryman, serving our country in Germany.
"We're there to be the Army's standpoint in Europe," Spears said.
He plans to go to sniper school next year.
"That's what I'm hoping for the future," Spears said. "Maybe a career in the Army snipers."
But for the immediate future, his two-week break from service for Christmas should be family-filled.
"When I saw her face, she lit up," Spears said. "My heart was racing the whole time."
And Megan's Christmas just got even better.
"I thought that he was the best buddy ever," Megan said.
The class enjoyed a Christmas party for the rest of the day.
Megan even got to help Santa turn the pages of "The Night Before Christmas" for the class.
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