Sgt. Tyler Black, who has been deployed in Iraq since May, was prepared to spend another Christmas apart from his wife Holly and 9-year-son Will who live in Texas.
"GMA" invited the mother and son to participate in what they thought would be a segment on military families.
Just as the pair said they wish they could tell Tyler how much they "love him and miss him," he appeared with a video message.
"Miss you guys -- wish I was there and could give you a big hug. Oh wait, maybe I can," he said emerging from behind the video wall on the set.
His wife Holly began to tear up immediately as their stunned son ran to embrace him.
As the 9-year-old clung onto his dad, hugging him and crying, he said, "I am so happy."
"I'm so blessed to be able to be here and spend this precious time with my family," Sgt. Black said. "It's amazing."