WEST BABYLON - The three children of a soldier from West Babylon got the surprise of their lives today when their father paid them a visit during a school assembly after returning home early from Afghanistan.

Tech. Sgt. John Lindner was serving in Afghanistan for seven months on his third and final tour of duty. His three boys, Michael, Adam and Derek, thought he was coming home in two weeks, but Lindner had another plan in mind.

Lindner and his wife, Francine, teamed up with JFK Elementary School teacher Diana Marshall to surprise their kids.

Marshall brought the students into the auditorium and had a discussion about caring. She then called the Lindner brothers to the front of the room, and moments later, they heard a knock on the door, followed by the appearance of their dad.

Lindner says he will spend his first days back home reuniting with his family.