Soldier Return: Lehigh Valley father surprises his young children during Santa visit

NORTH COVENTRY TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Two young siblings from Berks County, Pennsylvania hadn't seen their dad since he was deployed nearly a year ago.

On Sunday, they thought they were just getting their annual photos with Santa, but instead they got an early Christmas gift.

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ray Inman surprised his 4-year-old daughter Danielle and 2-year-old son CJ at the Coventry Mall in North Coventry Township.

"That was everything. It really was," his wife Jennifer said.

Inman spent nearly a year serving in Kosovo.

Jennifer had been doing her best while Dad was away.

"To explain to a 4-year-old that your daddy is halfway across the world for a whole year is difficult," Jennifer said.

Staff Sgt. Inman, holding his daughter in his arms, already had plans in mind.

"I can't wait to get home and start doing holiday stuff," Inman said.

After nearly a year apart, the family can now spend the holiday together.

Welcome home!
Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.