LUDLOW, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Two brothers had the surprise of a lifetime today.

Their older brother showed up at school after being away on active duty for eight months.

It was just another Friday at Veterans Park Elementary School in Ludlow.

Fourth grader Nathan Lapite was working on his project in class, sitting with his classmates and his younger brother Cameron, who he thought was just there for a brief visit.

Standing behind the door was Nathan and Cameron's oldest brother, 19-year-old Christopher Arsenault Jr., who is just returning home from active duty at Fort Lewis, Washington.

Nathan and Cameron were both overcome with emotion as the rest of the class looked on.

"Seeing them for the first time, they didn't really know I was there yet. I was just really excited to see them and give them a hug. I know they both missed me a lot. I'm gonna finish out my contract and see what I want to do and see my options, I'm just working day-to-day and seeing what milestones I can achieve," Arsenault noted.

Christopher's dad is so proud of his son as he watched what happened.

"Pretty emotional because I know what it was like when I was deployed in Iraq in 2004 and it's never easy leaving your loved ones behind. It's only a short period of time, but I know what that's like. Seeing them reunite, I can relate to all of them," said Christopher Arsenault.

The family left the school Friday morning - together once again.

The family said that right now, they don't have anything planned. They're just going to spend time together.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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