Military deployment can take a major toll on families of all backgrounds, and on that day when service members return to their husbands, wives, mothers, fathers and children, the homecoming is a treasured moment.
Over the years, surprise homecomings have become viral sensations, and InsideEdition.com presents seven of the best ones.
In 2017, a Florida mom received the surprise of her life when her military son suddenly popped out of the trunk of a car. At the time, they had been apart for more than two years.
In a touching moment caught on camera, U.S. naval soldier Lee Jackson decided to jump out of his aunt’s car to surprise his mother, Diana Jackson, during a long-overdue visit.
Also in 2017, a young boy attending his first day of school never could have expected to hear the voice of his mother, a deployed U.S. Air Force master sergeant who'd been away for more than six months, over the loudspeaker.
Shania Porter of Phoenix, Ariz., announced her arrival with special announcement over the Primrose School's PA system.
"Attention Pre-K 1, I have a special announcement for a little boy that I flew so many miles to see and to tell him how much I love him,' Porter proclaimed in her announcement heard blaring from the speakers.
It isn’t just humans who feel the effect of a loved one's deployment. In some cases, it stretches to animals.
Dogs are known to be man’s best friend, but Jax the husky could not stop showering his owner, Sam Cox, wet kisses as he returned from active duty in Great Britain’s Royal Anglian Regiment, for which he spent nine years training members of the Nigerian army. During their 2017 reunion, Cox and Jax showed the world what love really means.
Another pup just couldn't seem to get enough of its owner, a U.S. Army Reserve soldier, after they had been separated for seven long months.
Sgt. Tracy McKithern rescued her dog Erby while she was deployed in Iraq. There's no doubt this was a long-awaited reunion. Erby was flown home to Tampa, where she patiently looked forward to her owner's return. Sgt. McKithern actually greeted Erby before even saying hello to her husband.
In March, the kids of a military dad were stunned when he showed up to watch them cheer during a college basketball game.
Maria and Micaela Kemerling are cheerleaders at the University of Missouri, and they hadn't seen their father, Capt. Kody Kemerling, for 10 months while he was deployed to Kuwait with the Army Reserve. They say this deployment was difficult because he was unable to see them cheer at a collegiate level.
In December 2017, a professional dancer with the Philadelphia 76ers couldn't believe it when her boyfriend of three years walked onto the court with the team's mascot.
Angela DeStasio leapt right into the arms of Army Sgt. Elliot Burgos. It was the first time they'd seen each other in 11 months, following his deployment to the Middle East.
In 2016, an Army dad from Delaware surprised his deaf daughter in a very clever way.
Tech Sgt. David Opperman had been deployed overseas for seven months, the longest time he had been away from his family in 20 years of military service.
The family had made an arrangement with his youngest daughter's school, allowing her to miss part of class every Wednesday to Skype with her father due to the time difference overseas, her mom told InsideEdition.com.
But on one particular Wednesday, Sgt. Opperman's daughter, Amber, began video chatting with her dad when he was actually in the school. After hanging up, he walked into the room to surprise her.