Soldier surprises sons at school with early return

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PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) -- An Oregon National Guards soldier not due back from Afghanistan for months surprised his two sons at their elementary school on Thursday.

The East Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/I5aYMn ) 41-year-old James Morris returned to Oregon as part of an ongoing drawdown of U.S. troops.

The set-up at his sons' elementary school involved some careful planning. Morris met with his wife and his mother-in-law on Wednesday night, then stayed overnight at a hotel.

Morris guarded American bases in Kabul as part of the 1186th Military Police Company. It was his third deployment. He served earlier in Iraq and Somalia.

His sons, ages 9 and 11, stayed in touch via Skype and Facebook, an experience Morris says "kept me going."