HAZEL GREEN, Ala. (WHNT) – A 19-year-old soldier stationed in Germany returned home to surprise her little sisters at Hazel Green Elementary.

Private Makayla Hone serves in the US Army and has been deployed in Germany for a year. Makayla and her sisters barely get to talk since she’s been deployed. But Tuesday, she got to surprise her sisters; Peighton who’s in pre-school and Sagen who’s in Kindergarten.

Hone said she could barely hold it together when she saw her little sisters.

“I thought I was going to be able to hold it together. Definitely happy, but they’ve grown up a lot since I’ve seen them last so it was definitely sad. But, more happy than anything,” said Hone.

She comes from a family of seven and says its the littlest siblings that keep her motivated.

“It gives me something to look forward to that I’m coming home,” Hone explained. “No matter what it is, they’re worth every fight that comes our way all the long days, long missions. Wouldn’t trade it for the world knowing that I get to come back home to these two.”

The Purple Star School program was designed to help the challenges of families who move a lot due to their military lifestyle. 122 of Alabama’s schools now have the designation that sets the standards for military-friendly schools.

Hazel Green Elementary School Principal Leslie Cross said the effort is near to her heart.

“My own daughter and son-in-law and my grandchildren go through changes and movements and deployments. and the feelings that I had as a grandparent. I realize that we can support much better than we are. We need to be understanding of the times and be flexible with the attendance and the emotions that they go through because they are without family a lot of the time and we need to be their family.”

Private Hone will be home for one week before returning to Germany where she’s stationed until 2026.