Kailey Fissette was just about to kick a ball in her gym class at Mead Junior High School Friday afternoon when she realized someone was standing right behind her.
The 14-year-old looked over her shoulder and burst into tears when she saw it was her uniform-clad father, Navy Chief Gunner's Mate Patrick Fissette, who just got home from an 11-month deployment in Kuwait and Afghanistan.
The two tightly embraced as Kailey's classmates and family members gave them a round of applause in the gymnasium of the Elk Grove Village school.
A few minutes later, Tristan Fissette's eyes grew wide as his father stepped into his seventh-grade classroom. He quickly ran up to Patrick and gave him a long hug, again with teary-eyed adults and excited students looking on.
This wasn't the first time the Fissette children have been surprised by their dad -- he greeted them without warning in the main office at Stevenson Elementary School after coming home from Kuwait in 2010.
But Friday's surprise was special because Patrick is home for good.
"This is definitely my last time going on deployment, so this makes it much different," he said, adding that was sent abroad in 2003 to Greece and in 2007 and 2010 to Kuwait.
Patrick's wife, Kim, said she had been trying to plan the surprise for the past few months.
"They had no idea that he was coming home. They thought he wasn't coming home for another month," she said as Tristan threw her a look and whispered, "You lied to us!"
Patrick said he missed his daughter's birthday by three days, but he has his son's birthday to look forward to in two weeks. He is also thrilled to not be on a strict schedule and enjoy some family time.
Tristan said he's looking forward to having his dad play Xbox with him and attend his soccer games, and Kailey said it will be nice to have her dad home for her eighth-grade graduation.
"It was awesome, everything I thought it would be," Kim said of her husband's surprise return. "He will be retiring now, with 22 years of service, so we wanted to make this one the big hurrah. We're done."