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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Home run homecoming for soldier

He could be any catcher ready to crouch into box at the start of a game and they could be any kids.. plucked from the River Cats crowd to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

But instead they were father and son and daughter about to reunite after being separated by dad's year-long deployment to Afghanistan.

While 13-year-old Summer Hereth seemed to recognize her dad right away it took a minute for 10-year-old Devin to realize Sergeant First Class Jim Hereth was there in the flesh.

"My sister hit me - devin it's him and I was like oh what.. I felt like I was running. I didn't know if I was dreaming."

This reunion was something dad had dreamed of for a long time, but was able to pull together with just one phone call to the River Cats just last week.

His own father served in Vietnam, but it wasn't until he left two kids behind that the weight of such a sacrifice hit him.

"Growing up as a kid I would think of that.. but I had no idea."

And with his shinook unit in the Army National Guard rushing into harm's way.

"It's haphazard. Anyone can see the end at anytime you lose good soldiers. Good family members and good dads everything."

"A lot of my parents don't have their other parent and it kind of gave me a perspective so I'm just a lot more grateful now."

Grateful and giddy with the happiness brought on by this unbelievable surprise.

"I saw their apprehension when they're even walking out to the mound, a little skeptical about going out behind them."

Was your heart beating a thousand miles a minute?

"oh yeah."

And now it's time to do everything they've all dreamed about for a year.

Everything they can do... Now that they're all safe at home.