WHITEHALL, N.Y. (NBC) – A touching soldier surprise out of New York is sure to tug at your heartstrings.

After just more than a year away, Tim Gordon who serves with the Army National Guard surprised his children at their school on Friday who thought he wouldn’t be home until the weekend.

First Gordon surprised his daughter in her fourth-grade class then he went to his son’s kindergarten class.

“It’s absolutely amazing, I can’t wait to see them, they’re just – a year’s a long time and they’re going to be so much more grown than when I left. Facetime doesn’t do it justice,” Gordon said.

Gordon’s wife works at the school and he says a lot of careful planning went into this top-secret mission.

April is military family appreciation month.