PALM DESERT, Calif. -

A surprise homecoming for one desert family.  Kindergarten teacher Michelle Cherland has spent the last year serving our country in Afghanistan as an Army Reservist.  She wasn't due home for another couple of months but she came home early surprising her family at a local bar.


It was just supposed to be a night of Karaoke, but Cherland's brother Ryan, had other plans.  He started to sing "Sweet Caroline," but stopped saying he couldn't sing without his sister.  That's when Cherland, who was hiding, came out.   


"I am so excited to be home, its been a long adventure, a long ride here that's why I am so glad I got here," said Cherland.


"It's a dream come true, it's just unbelievable that she is home.  We just worried about her so much kisses," said Cherland's father Kim McLaughlin.


Captain Michelle Cherland has spent the last year helping transport equipment in Afghanistan.


"I'm just glad to be back," said Cherland.


"I was completely surprised they got me. What a way to get got!" said McLaughlin.  "This is the best present ever absolutely, safe and sound."


This was Cherland's third tour. 


Cherland's early homecoming is also a nice surprise for her students.  She will be able to start teaching again  at Carrillo Ranch Elementary School when school begins in September.