Soldier dad disguised as school mascot surprises sons after 10 months overseas

Rockland — Three elementary school boys got the shock of their lives Friday afternoon when their father, Army National Guard member Michael Leone, pulled off a surprise homecoming from a 10-month deployment.

At an Esten Elementary School assembly Friday, Leone’s three sons were called to center stage to take a photo with a costumed bulldog, the district’s mascot. The boys, — 5-year-old Nathan, 6-year-old Tolan and 8-year-old Tyler — were told the photo would be sent to their dad, who was deployed to Somalia in February.

But as the photo was taken, the costumed character removed his mask and Leone was seen grinning ear to ear as his boys, shocked at first, rushed to hug him.

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