When Danyelle Auditore learned her husband, Scott, a specialist in the New Hampshire National Guard, would arrive home on leave from Iraq just in time to make her son's junior baseball all-star game, she arranged the surprise of a lifetime. When Kyle, 8, suited up as catcher and went out to the field, there was his father -- who had been gone for six months -- on the pitcher's mound, waiting to throw out the first pitch.
Kyle had known his father was on his way home, but had no idea he would make the game. When he saw him and realized who it was standing there in his uniform, he ran into his arms. I doubt there was a dry eye in the bleachers. The following video from the local news station, WMUR, makes me weepy every time I watch it.
I can just imagine how proud this boy was to have his father there witnessing him playing, especially in an all-star game. Seeing as how he was deployed last December, it was the first game of the season Scott had seen. Kyle did his dad proud, and scored a double in the game.
While there are plenty of major life events our soldiers miss while they're serving our nation overseas like births, deaths, anniversaries, and celebrations, it's often the little things like baseball games in which families feel the biggest voids. So while it may have been just another game for other families, to the Auditores it was much more.
Scott Auditore is only home for a few short weeks, then he'll head back to Iraq until December. While nothing will ever make up for him being away from his family, this memory is surely one that will help them all get through the remaining months of his service and one that they'll cherish for life.
What's the biggest surprise you've ever given your child?
Image via YouTube