April 20, 2015 11:29 AM EDT

Third-grader Joshua Bass thought it was just a normal school picture day — until his dad, who’d been stationed in Kuwait for the past year, showed up to surprise him.

Corporal James Bass was coming home on leave and decided to stop at his eight-year-old son’s elementary school in Durham, N.C., ABC 11 reports. It happened to be picture day, so to surprise his son, Bass snuck behind him for a photobomb. The photographer then showed Joshua the picture, and he didn’t quite understand what was happening until he turned around and saw his dad standing there grinning.

Then they hugged and laughed and it was beautiful and we dare you to watch this without shedding a little tear.

Contact us at letters@time.com.

Read More From TIME

Related Stories