FRUITA, Colo. Soldier Braydon Gear has been in Afghanistan for the past six months, but when he found out he would be going on leave, he made sure it would a homecoming his family would never forget.
"I was like, 'Hey Mom, I'm coming soon for leave,'" said Braydon Gear. "'Don't tell Zach I'm coming home.' It worked out perfectly."
Gear showed up at 10-year-old Zachary Wilson's basketball game Saturday, where the younger brother jumped into the older's arms for the first time since last July.
"Yay he's here!" said Zach, who thought his brother wasn't coming home until the end of February.
While Zach was left out of the loop for the sake of surprise, others were clued in including Zach's basketball coach who knew to call a time out before the reveal happened.
"He had no idea, so the coach was wonderful in helping us set this up, so he didn’t know and the look on his face when he turned around was priceless," said Carmel Wilson, the boys' mother.
Friends and family surprised Gear himself by making signs welcoming him home and honoring him for his service to the country.
"It's an honor. It really is," Gear said. "I'm so grateful that I get to come here and everyone cheered and everything. That really means a lot."
The brothers said they plan to spend lots of time together for the next 30 days while Gear is home.