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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- National Guard soldier Marcus Clark returned from Afghanistan this week, unbeknownst to his mother--a teacher at Poplar Grove Child Development Center.

Wednesday morning, with the assistance and secrecy of Jana Clark's colleagues, Marcus Clark surprised her while she helped lead a student discussion about Afghanistan--a topic coincidentally relevant to the school's "international week."

Marcus Clark, 26, served a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan, where he was on a mission with the 210 MP (Military Police) unit. His mother thought her son was not scheduled to return until Friday.

Post-surprise reunion, Jana Clark cried, "I don't even know what to say. I'm excited, I'm happy and I'm just proud of him. I'm just a very proud mom."

Marcus Clark explained, "I said what better way to surprise her than at work? She loves being at work and her kids, she loves being around her co-workers, so I would love to bring that surprise to her environment."

He added, "Once you accomplish that mission and you make it home, everything you did over there is well worth it. And to know you're coming home to friends and family that loves and supports you it means a lot."

Jana Clark said she found out her colleagues had known for two weeks about her son's intended surprise. "That means they know how much I love my son and how much I wanted him to come home. I think they also understand he was over there for us."

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