UPDATED: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 9:29am
WACO — It was a school assembly with a surprise ending.
3rd grader James Lloyd was sent out of the gym to get the American flag that was coincidentally not in its usual place.
Then, teachers filled the rest of the kids in on the secret.
"We are not really having a practice assembly. James' mom is back."
The last time Army Staff Sergeant Jessica Lloyd saw James was at Christmas.
She deployed to Afghanistan in February.
So Friday, after leading the school in the Pledge of Allegiance, mother and son were reunited.
As James puts the surprise:
"Really awesome. I cried a little bit of course."
"It was probably the most awesome," Lloyd said.
James was just 7-months old when Lloyd was deployed for the first time.
Every time she comes back, there's something a little different.
"Yeah he's grown about 3 inches since I've been gone. That happens every time I deploy, he grows."
It's been a long journey for the Lloyd family. In August of 2006, James' dad, Michael Chadwick Lloyd was killed in Iraq.
James says he still wishes they could both be here.
"If they were both here I'd probably be crying for about like an hour or so," he said.
For now,they have the weekend to reconnect before Jessica goes back to Fort Bragg.
Even though the time apart is hard, James couldn't be more proud of his mom.
"I am really glad that my mother picked the Army since she is serving her country."
James says he hopes to be an Army Ranger when he grows up.