SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - On Monday, the USS Sampson returned to San Diego after seven months of being in the Western Pacific working on some very important missions. It aided in the search for the crashed AirAsia plane.

The arrival of the USS Sampson was a big surprise for one little boy.

"My dad is coming home and I'm really stinking excited," said a girl who was waiting for her father.

The USS Sampson's crew included new fathers and seasoned servicemen.

"This is my retirement deployment. It feels great," said a retiring Sailor.

More than 300 servicemen on board were deployed seven months ago, taking part in exercises with allies, and searching for the AirAsia flight that went down in December, killing 162 on board.

"We strengthened ties and gave them closure for their loss which they would want. We only did what we would want other countries would want to do for us," said James Payne, Chief Electronics Technician.

The family members and friends who lined the port, could not have been more proud.

All homecomings are special, but there is always that extra special thing about a surprise homecoming.

"Didn't sleep at all last night. It's kind of like waking up trying to sleep before Christmas," said Edward Bystrak, Chief Gunners Mate.

Bystrak's son, Gabriel, thought his father was coming home in two days. In fact, his mom changed the countdown calendar at their home. Gabriel's surprise came while he was at school.

Bystrak said he looks forward to "Spending time with the babies, being woken up in the middle of the nigh and lots of pillow fights."

Staff at Crown Point Elementary allowed the cameras to capture the moment Bystrak was reunited with his son.