Greensboro, NC -- Monday started like any other school day for some students at Rankin Elementary in Greensboro. Except, this morning, the school held a "Welcome Home" event for a soldier students have been skyping with.
The event was in honor Staff Sgt. Benson. Previously, students met Benson - a father to two students at Rankin Elementary - and the National Guard's 514 Military Police Company in a Skype conversation with students/staff on Veterans Day in 2012.
Although students and staff at Rankin Elementary knew Benson was coming, his identity was concealed from his children.
The event began and Benson's two sons had no idea their father was the soldier they were welcoming home. During the assembly, the boys were asked what is the first thing they plan to do when they see their father? One boy responded, "give him a big hug."
"They almost didn't believe that I was really standing there. And when they hugged me, they wanted to make sure I wasn't going anywhere anymore," said Staff Sergeant Robert Benson, North Carolina nation Guard 514th Military Police Company.
But the homecoming surprises didn't stop, when the family left Rankin Elementary in Greensboro. WFMY News 2 met up with the family at their home, where there was another surprise was waiting for Staff Sgt. Benson.
"He hasn't been home in a year and we just wanted to surprise him and give him a big welcome home," said Carter Benson, 7-year-old son.
Robert Benson has a 2-year-old son, a 6-year-old and a 7-year-old. The trio and their mother decorated the outside and inside of the house.
"So, glad to be home," said Robert Benson.
"I don't believe it. I felt like, I was in one of those movies and I was going to wake-up the next day and he's gone," said Annie Benson, wife of the soldier.
"Dad is back to stay and dad's the best! He's just the best," said Carter.
As for Robert Benson, he plans to spend time, with his family and look for a job.