HOUSTON --There was an emotional family reunion today after the return of a Marine. His tour of duty to Afghanistan is over and he returned Friday to his old junior high school, for a surprise visit to see his 14-year-old sister. Twenty-one-year-old Lance Cpl. Rick Menard has been fighting in Afghanistan for the past nine months with the honors to prove it. "It was hard at times, but we had our peers, our other Marines there," Menard said. On Friday, he returned to Knox Junior High School, the same school he attended with the same principal. But the reason for this Marine's visit was to finally see his 14-year-old sister, He'aven, for the first time in nearly a year. She was pulled from class not knowing why. It was one of those moments locked in time and lasting an eternity. "I love you," He'aven told her brother. "I love you too," he replied. Parents looked on in pride, then the big question. "Why are you home?" she asked. "Just cause," Menard responded. "I'll be home for 25 days and then I'll go back." There were tears in the room, applause and of course shock. "There are no words to explain it," He'aven said. It was a bit of heaven created today -- hearts reunited, even if only temporary. Menard will be in Houston for 25 days before returning to Camp Pendleton.