When US Marine Staff Sgt. Jeremy Cooney was deployed to Afghanistan last year, he left behind his wife and children, one of whom was born with cerebral palsy and couldn't walk.
Little did Cooney know that, over the next seven months, his six-year-old son Matthew would learn to walk on his own, ABC News reports.
Cooney's wife Melissa kept her son's progress a secret for the duration of her husband's deployment so that when he finally returned home, he would be welcomed with the gift of a lifetime.
On the website Welcome Home Blog, Cooney posted a video of her son running to greet his father for the first time in a gym at Camp Lejeune, a military base in the family's home state of North Carolina. Cooney is shortly surrounded by the rest of his children.
Melissa Cooney told the Daily Mail that she never had a doubt her son would learn to walk.
"We knew he had it in him to walk," she said. "It was just a matter of time."
Cooney's heartwarming video isn't the first homecoming surprise caught on tape. In October 2011, a 9-year-old Florida girl named Skylar Johnson was stunned during a school spelling bee after she spelled the word "sergeant" correctly and her father, who had been on tour in Afghanistan since Christmas, popped out from behind the curtain.
The video was so popular that the Johnson family was invited to share their story on "The Early Show." When Skylar was asked how it felt to be in that moment on the spelling bee stage, she said it was "amazing" and that she "couldn't even describe it."
Watch the video of Jeremy and Matthew Cooney, above, and the video of Skylar Johnson, below.