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So many hugs: MN soldiers surprise their kids after returning from deployment

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A 3-year-old boy got the surprise of his life when he was asked to help bring an animal out during a presentation at the Minnesota Zoo over the weekend.

Evan Tulk's father, Sgt. Joseph Scott, came out instead. He had just returned from a year in Kuwait and Iraq, WCCO reports.

Scott's mother, Karen Tulk, told the Minnesota Zoo "he grew up at the zoo," which is why Scott wanted to surprise his son there.

"I really love to get back to him, to reconnect with him today – to bring him back to somewhere that's special to me," Scott said, according to KARE 11.

Evan's first stop was the zoo's penguin exhibit, WCCO notes.

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Evan's surprise was one of a handful of recent soldier surprises in Minnesota in the past week. Here's a look at the others:

Fire truck ride with a surprise

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On Monday morning, Tomas, Gabriel and Eliana Araujo got a special ride to school after winning a fire truck ride at a recent Pine Hill Elementary carnival, but the real treat came when they got off at the Cottage Grove school, FOX 9 reports.

Their father, Gabriel Timp, had returned home from deployment in Kuwait 27 days early, the news station notes.

Father surprises kids at school

And last week, Jaden, Ariana and Kaylee Martinez were stunned to see their father, U.S. Army aviation operation specialist Jacob Martinez, walk into their classrooms at the Hale Community School in Minneapolis, the Star Tribune reported.

The family wasn't expecting to see their dad until later this summer.

The newspaper has video and a photo gallery of the happy reunion. Minneapolis Public Schools also has a few photos on its Facebook page.

Can't get enough of these soldier surprises? The Welcome Home Blog is frequently updated with homecoming videos from around the country.

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