Air Force Tech Sergeant Christopher Yarbrough received a surprise homecoming celebration today at the Alma Intermediate School.
"I thought I was just going to go to the classroom and say thank you," he said.
He was going to say thanks for multiple care packages the youngsters sent to him over Christmas when he was in Afghanistan.
Instead, the kids ended up giving him thanks for protecting and serving them.
"Wow, I definitely do not deserve this. There's so many people that serve and deploy," he said.
Yarbrough has served for nearly 16 years, including with the 188th in Fort Smith and all the way overseas in Afghanistan and Korea.
He said it was the little things that got him through long periods he spent away from his family.
"The care packages they definitely help morale you get into a routine and you kind of almost forget about the real world," he said.
He continued, "I was really excited. I didn't know what to say."