SAN ANTONIO - Alumni from near and far came back to the University of the Incarnate Word to celebrate homecoming weekend.

Among them were the Smith family, who have been without their loved one, Master Sergeant Ronald Smith, for half a year. He's a UIW alumnus who has been deployed oversees for the past six months, so there was no way his children could have predicted that he'd show up at the game.

Until he did.

"It was hard. I wanted to go and be with my family, but I wanted to preserve the surprise for them," Smith said.

Before the homecoming football game began, he ran on the field dressed in disguise as a player and surprised his daughter and two sons. It was a surprise that marked not only homecoming weekend, but his son's second birthday and the completion of his fourth deployment.

"We're hoping that this is his last one," Ronald's wife, Evon, said. "We're really happy that we were able to pull it off, keep it a secret from the boys and surprise them."