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(MIDLOTHIAN, Va.) — Caroline and Lindsay Prekker thought they were guest speaking in Caroline’s ethics class at Cosby High School in Midlothian, Virginia, on the topic of health care for veterans.

Their mom, Army Colonel Beth Prekker, was supposed to be a guest speaker via Skype too, but there was a technical issue — or so the girls thought.

As the girls sat listening to their teacher, Lindsay noticed someone familiar out of the corner of her eye.

“All of a sudden her jaw dropped and her eyes popped open and she smacked Caroline and the girls just lost it. It was great,” Beth told ABC News of surprising the girls in person, home from her 9-month deployment in Iraq.

“We’ve seen all these videos and it was nice to be a part of one this time,” Beth’s husband Rick, also retired military, said of pulling off the surprise of a lifetime.

The girls knew their mom was back stateside at Fort Hood in Texas, “but they didn’t know how long it would take to go through all the processing,” Beth explained. “We were originally anticipating about two weeks but they rushed everyone through.”

She was able to get home sooner than expected, landing in Virginia on Wednesday and spending the night in a hotel to surprise the girls at school Thursday morning.

Caroline’s teacher helped coordinate the surprise, as she had done previously during both of the parents’ multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Caroline’s teacher has been amazing with things like this,” Beth said. “I was mentioning coming home and she said, ‘Oh, we’ve got to do something. I’ll do something with my ethics class.’ It’s been probably a month or two that we’ve been planning, but it has all been dependent on when I was going to get home.”

The happy family celebrated a belated Christmas last night and look forward to spending more quality time together before Beth has to head back to Wichita, Kansas, where she is stationed.

“Caroline and I want to go out to lunch with her boyfriend and his mom. I haven’t met them yet,” Beth said. “Go to the movies. Just do the things we like to do together. We had fun yesterday just hanging out together.”

As for today, Beth is already right back to her mom duties, accompanying her oldest, Lindsay, to the dentist to have her wisdom teeth removed.

“It’s exactly what I want to be doing,” she said.

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