GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — A military homecoming surprised two special Robinson elementary students Wednesday who have not seen their father for more than seven months.

Gunnery Sgt. Connor McGregor was deployed to Darwin, Australia for the past 221 days. This is the longest period he had been away from his family during his military service.

“I’m gone a lot for training and different things,” he said.

School officials organized an assembly Wednesday morning to celebrate good behavior from its student body. After several games were played, the McGregor kids were “randomly” selected to compete against one another in the final game: Guess that voice.

“I didn’t think it would be dad there,” said Gunner McGregor. “I thought it was just a voice note.”

The two students were surprised to see their dad in uniform as he snuck into the school auditorium.

“It’s been hard,” said wife Shelby McGregor. “Because he’s my best friend and he helps. You know, sometimes if the kids are down or I’m down he’s usually there. So when he’s not, it’s extra hard to just figure out day-to-day stuff.”

Shelby and Connor McGregor are graduates of Grand Haven High School. Their family will be stationed in South Carolina later this year.