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      A soldier's surprise

      US troops serve in countries all around the world, often putting their own families on hold for months and sometimes even years. After a 10-month deployment to Afghanistan, a serviceman from Owensville just returned home.

      Anthony Cardoza is a petty officer second class in the United States Navy and is one of more than 50,000 US troops to serve in Afghanistan this year. In December he packed his bags, leaving his wife Becky to care for their sons, seven-year-old Kaleb and four-year-old old Cooper.

      It's been a long 10 months for the boys to be without their dad, but Anthony has returned home safe and sound. Caleb was in Ms. Nolan's 2nd grade class when Anthony surprised his son. Cooper was just finishing up with snack time at daycare when Cardoza made his arrival. Both boys ran to their dad with open arms.

      While he was gone, the Cardoza's were able to communicate through skype a few times a week. Becky had to be strong while her husband was away, but now that he is home, she says it wasn't always easy.

      Anthony's wife Becky said there were definitely challenges with not having a husband around for ten months, "It was hard at first but then you get on your own schedule. After a while it just becomes plain routine. Seeing him on skype and talking as much as we could helped. Just being apart was probably the main struggle."

      "Being away from the kids was especially tough," Anthony Cardoza explained. "I don't think they really didn't understand what was going on. Another tough thing was trying to talk Becky through starting the weed eater on skype. It was tough"

      And now that he's back home, the Cardoza's plan to catch up on the important things in life...spending time together. Anthony and Becky will be celebrating their five year anniversary on Friday.