A Toronto family made the trek to Canadian Forces Base Trenton Sunday to reunite with Sgt. Matthew Maxwell, who returned home after serving in Afghanistan for 13 months.

The family took time over the weekend to prepare for Maxwell’s return.

Wife Niky and the couple’s three children tied yellow ribbons around their front-yard trees and affixed a sign to their car that read “On the way to get our dad.”

Niky told CTV Toronto she could hardly believe her husband was actually coming back.

“The feelings, it’s just everything all built up inside. My stomach’s a mess. It’s like right before our first date… all pent up into one,” she said.

On the way to CFB Trenton, cars read the sign and saluted the family through a series of honks and waves.

Once at the base, emotions ran high as the family anxiously waited for Maxwell’s plane to touch down.

“Has he changed? What’s he going to be like?” said Maxwell’s father, David. “I just want to hug him.”

“I’ve been pretty good at holding my emotions together, but the closer it gets, the more you’re kind of like ‘I’m really going to break,’” said Niky.

Finally, after a delay, the plane lights appeared in the dark sky and the Maxwell family watched as the flight landed.

“I don’t know if I can wait much longer,” said David.

As the sergeant finally appeared, the crowd at CFB Trenton broke into applause and watched while his three excited children rushed toward him. Maxwell took time to hug all of them, before standing up and hugging and kissing his wife.

With a report from CTV Toronto’s Zuraidah Alman