OLD BRIDGE — A 6-year-old boy who dressed up like his soldier dad for Halloween had only one wish for Christmas, and that was to spend it with his father.

Thanks to a combined effort between the boy's parents and the local school district, that wish came true.

Abel Towers-Zeller's dad, Timothy Zeller, is a private in the Army and had been stationed in California since July, according to a statement from the school district.

Old Bridge Township Public Schools

Raymond E. Voorhees Elementary School Principal Courtney Lowery said a  plan came together, and revolved around a previously scheduled assembly on Monday about caring. During the assembly, the children thanked people who had made a difference in their lives, and gave letters they had written for soldiers to Lowery to send out.

After Lowery got the letters, she told the students it would be wonderful if a soldier could deliver the letters, which is when Timothy Zeller walked into the gym in full uniform.

"Moments later, the youngster ran into his father's arms and refused to let go," a statement from the district said.

Abel said he was "surprised" to see his dad, but could not stop smiling, while teachers and staff could be seen getting emotional from the long-awaited reunion.

Old Bridge Township Public Schools

Abel will have the next two weeks to spend with his dad, at which point Timothy Zeller said he would bring the letters from the school back to base with him.

Earlier this year, a third0grader in Manchester got a similar surprise when his big brother came home from deployment and surprised him as well.

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