Published: Dec 18, 2013 12:32 PM EST
Updated: Dec 18, 2013 4:51 PM EST

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Kindergarten students at Six Mile Charter Academy learned a special lesson about real-life heroes, like Staff Sergeant Joshua Penery, today.

For weeks the students in Mrs. Nowling's class have been studying these heroes, writing letters to service men and women at the VA hospital in Tampa, pausing for a moment of silence every morning, and supporting their own heroes in class: Staff Sergeant Penery's 6-year-old twins, Jaxson and Jayden, who haven't seen their dad in seven months.

During their lesson today the students thought they were going to watch a movie about heroes, but instead, Jaxson and Jayden got something much better: their dad in real life!

When asked who Jaxson's biggest hero was, it was easy to see who'd it be. He pointed to her father and said, "This guy right here..."

Staff Sergeant Penery and his children are spending Christmas in Southwest Florida with their family. Then, they're moving back to Arizona.