A New Jersey high school student received a huge surprise when her two older brothers who serve in the U.S. Army visited her at school after being away for nearly a year.
Sergeant Justin Potenski, 24, and his brother Specialist John Potenski, 26, had been deployed in Qatar since June of 2014.
“This was the first deployment for a year, so this was much longer than any of us were used to,” John told NBC10.
U.S. & World
The two brothers from Mays Landing, New Jersey, returned on May 18, but only a few family members knew they were home at the time. One person who had no idea was their younger sister Brielle Potenski, a student at Oakcrest High School.
“We knew she was in school,” John said. “So I first called the school right away to ask if we could surprise her and they were okay with it.”
The camera rolled as the two brothers walked into their sister’s class the next day. Brielle screamed and ran into their arms as her classmates watched.
The homecoming is especially momentous for John who spent Memorial Day weekend with his wife and family.
“We won’t have to go back anytime soon,” he said. “We do a one week a month drill until our next deployment, which right now won’t be until another four or five years, hopefully. I’m not trying to leave my family again. You don’t really know what you have until you don’t have it. Makes you appreciate life a lot more.”