Being away from a loved one for a long period of time is always difficult, but it is especially hard when that loved one is in the military. You’re always wondering if they’re okay and praying for the day when they can finally come home.

It’s not easy being on the other side of things, either. Army Reserve Chaplain Capt. Owen R. Chandler hadn’t seen his parents since he began a tour in Iraq in January 2016.

Since he had been gone, both of his parents, Rick and Judy Chandler, had faced some health issues. Owen knew he needed to go home to see them, and he decided to make his homecoming a huge surprise.

He called his mom’s sisters, Pat Pryor and Sandy Hester, to see if they could help him devise a plan for the surprise. They came up with the perfect alibi!

Each week the three sisters get together for dinner to catch up on life. Pat and Sandy decided to turn the standing dinner into a big homecoming surprise.

Sandy told Judy that she had a big announcement to make at the next dinner, and then they waited for the big day to arrive.

When the day finally came Rick and Judy walked into the back room of Rookie’s Sports Bar and immediately knew something was up. Standing around the room were all of their friends and loved ones.

As they tried to figure out what was going on, Owen stepped out to surprise them. His parents’ reaction made all the secrecy and planning totally worth it!

Click below to see the moment of the surprise for yourself!

After a full year away, this was the perfect homecoming for Capt. Chandler! We’re so glad he is now home safe and sound!

Did you love this surprise as much as we did? So share this!