US Navy Reserve commander surprises son at Arlington school after yearlong Afghanistan deployment

A Navy Reserve commander surprised his young son after being away from his family while serving in Afghanistan for the past year.

Commander Jonathan Blyth returned home to Virginia and arrived at Arlington Science Focus School in Arlington on Tuesday to surprise his son David, a second grade student.

“He knew that I made him a promise before I left that I would be back before the end of the school year, and tomorrow, the school year ends and I'm back,” Blyth said. “It’s been extremely difficult. I have missed him a great deal – spending time with him, holding him. But I also recognize that this was an important mission that I had to do.”

For the emotional reunion, young David walked into the classroom for his math class and found his father waiting for him to his dismay. With his classmates in the room, David sprinted to his dad for a huge hug.

“It's a tough experience being away from my son, but if my period of time that I was in Afghanistan means that he never has to go to Afghanistan, and that the country one day becomes a safe and secure country and be safe and secure for us in the United States, then it was well worth being away from him,” said Blyth.