Navy dad surprises kids by showing up in photo with Santa

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SAN DIEGO, CA (December 13, 2015) – A Navy sailor returned early from a yearlong deployment in the Middle East, and he surprised his kids by photobombing their picture with Santa!

According to FOX5, Rob Stella, a Chief who has served in the U.S. Navy for 23 years, went straight to the mall after traveling 41 hours from Bahrain. His wife and kids were at the mall visiting with Santa, and he arranged the most epic photobomb with Santa and the mall staff.

Stella’s three children were posing with Santa, smiling, at the camera, when their dad popped up from behind the couch.

“I was kind of confused at first, and then I was like, wait, that’s my dad! And then I just freaked out. I was like, oh my gosh,” Stella’s daughter Maddie told FOX5.

The holiday homecoming brought onlookers to tears.

Stella says he’s home for good and he plans to retire from the Navy.

“I have a honey-do list and it’s extensive after a year,” Stella laughed.