GREENSBURG (KDKA) -- Crusade Day at Aquinas Academy in Greensburg is a fun day full of surprises.
For 11-year-old Liam Gallagher and his 18-year-old brother, Connor, a very special surprise was in store.
United States Master Sgt. Patrick Gallagher, Liam and Connor's father, returned home.
"Six out of the last nine months, I've been deployed, so this is a welcome home that I was looking forward to," he said.
A member of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard's 171st Refueling Wing, Patrick Gallagher was deployed in Afghanistan and Guam.
His surprise homecoming floored his sons.
"I was, I was, oh my gosh. I can't even explain," Liam Gallagher said.
"It just shocked me. And I'm not one to cry much for anything, and it hit me pretty hard. It felt good," Connor Gallagher said.
Keeping with the military tradition of deception to cover operational security, some alternative truths had to be implemented to pull this off.
"He told me his plane broke down, and that he would be home Saturday or Sunday," Liam Gallagher said.
"To see them just open up like that, it warmed my heart and broke it at the same time. It's been a rough go," Christine Gallagher, Patrick's wife, said.
"It just means, like, basically [I'm] getting my best friend back because when he's gone, I'm basically the older one of the house and I have to do a lot and it's hard. But when he comes back, it's like the pressure's gone a little bit because now I have him to help me," Connor Gallagher said.
As for Patrick Gallagher, he's going to be stateside for a while, and his sons have some plans, including opening their pool, swimming and relaxing.
Patrick Gallagher: "Something about an Avengers movie that I haven't seen yet?"
Liam Gallagher: "Oh, 'Endgame'! I wanna see that again!"
"It just warms my heart because we're together again. We're back together again," Christine Gallagher said.
for more features.