LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. -- Two Orange County kids who helped their local YMCA's "Stockings for the Troops" program in December received a very special gift of their own.
Ten-year-old Hayden Nieznanski and his 6-year-old brother Maxwell spend most afternoons at a YMCA after-school program in Laguna Niguel.
One of their favorite activities is putting together gifts to be sent to troops overseas. Back in December, they made stockings for the holidays. On Wednesday, they wrote a letter to their father who is a Marine, currently deployed.
As Hayden and Maxwell read their letter to their dad, Christmas came 10 months early. Master Sergeant Jeremy Nieznanski returned from his deployment and surprised his two boys at school. They both thought he would be gone another two months. "I mean it means everything to me to see my wife and my kids today, it's very emotional," said Master Sgt. Nieznanski.
His boys were in shock.
"Really surprised because at first I just saw like his uniform and I thought it was a random Marine walking in, and I looked up and saw his face," said Hayden.
Jeremy Nieznanski has been serving overseas with Combat Logistics Battalion 13 out of Camp Pendleton for the last seven months - his sixth deployment. His family not only celebrated Christmas without him - he missed his newborn son's first birthday on Dec. 15, in service of our country.
"I feel like we've all been through a lot, to have him home is just an overwhelming feeling," said Amanda Nieznanski, Jeremy's wife.
As for what's next for the family? A simple request from a 6-year-old who missed his dad.
"Never played Legos with him and also I wanted to play Fortnite with him."
Marine returns home early, surprises two young sons