Dad surprises 7-year-old son at school: ‘I haven’t seen him in 20 months’

Posted at 9:47 AM, Jan 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-08 09:47:51-05

WHITEFISH BAY, Wis. – A seven-year-old Wisconsin boy got the surprise of a lifetime on Monday after not seeing his father for almost two years.

"The second grader's dad, Jon-Andrew Anderson, has been serving as a captain in the U.S. Navy in Bahrain since April, 2017.  Anderson was able to come home earlier than expected, so he decided to surprise his son during skating class at St. Monica Catholic School in Whitefish Bay.

"I haven't seen him in 20 months," Anderson said.

Anderson's deployment only allowed him to talk with his son, Ethan, on FaceTime during his active duty. He made calls at 4 a.m. in the Middle East just to say good night.

"Once you hang up with him, it's back, it's back to 135 degrees and getting back on the ship and going," Anderson said.

All of that changed on Monday when the two were reunited at St. Monica School -- while Ethan was in class.

The 7-year-old had no idea his dad was back in the U.S.

"I thought I was only going to see him next Christmas. But I get to see him now!" Ethan said.

There was even more good news for the two – Anderson will not have to be back at sea for a few years. He is in town for a week before moving to Washington, D.C., but will be able to see his son more often.

"However long you're gone from home, it's always worth it for the day you get to come back," Anderson said.