Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
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PICAYUNE, MS-Lance Cpl. Michael Craddock has been in the Marines for almost five years.In that time, he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 while his youngest son was struggling from a premature birth.Craddock was sent away, again, earlier this year to the Mediterranean Sea for eight months.

But Friday, he returned home to Picayune, and with the help of family members, schoolmates and their parents, he broke the news to his 4-year-old and 2-year-old without warning.

'Daddy,' yelled Daniel and Alex Craddock when they saw their dad walked up to them.

'They talk about him every day. They wake up every morning telling me how big they're going to hug him and I just wanted to see it,' said relative Leanne Leboeuf, who organized the surprise homecoming.

Craddock and his wife, Annie, were overjoyed about the surprise reunion too, especially with such a large show of support for their family on Veteran's Day weekend.

Craddock's wife said, 'They took their time out of their day to come over here and support my husband and support our boys and everything we've been through it's, it warms my heart. It's great.'

'It's been hard and long, but I'm glad to be back now,' said Lance Cpl. Craddock.

Craddock still has a few more years of service left, but hopes to be home for the next two years.
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