Teen gets ready to shake hands with rival football team. But when helmets come off—he loses it

It’s hard on military families during times of deployment, and that’s why memorable homecomings are an important celebration for these families. A surprise homecoming involving a sergeant and his son, who was about to commence a game of football, turned out to be an emotional one.

In 2013, Justin Martell thought it was going to be a normal football game as he stood on the field of The International School of Brussels in Belgium. Little did he know that it was going to be a day that would be etched in his memory for a long time.

©YouTube Screenshot | 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Before the game commenced, his mother, Julia, went to Spangdahlem Air Force base to pick up his father, U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Joseph Martell, who had just returned home a month early from deployment in Afghanistan.

Once Sergeant Martell touched down and greeted his wife, the two of them quickly jumped into their car and drove to Belgium, which was a two-hour ride away. They were intending to surprise Justin, who had no idea about his father’s homecoming.

©YouTube Screenshot | 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

When Sergeant Martell arrived at the school, he dressed up in the opposing side’s uniform and walked towards the center of the field for a sportsmanship handshake.

©YouTube Screenshot | 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
©YouTube Screenshot | 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

When Sergeant Martell removed his helmet, however, a stunned Justin suddenly lunged forward to embrace his father, whom he had not seen for five months.

©YouTube Screenshot | 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Justin couldn’t help but cry as he hugged him while the crowd cheered. The emotion expressed on his face was palpable.

The whole heartwarming homecoming was captured on video by 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs and uploaded to YouTube.

©YouTube Screenshot | 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

“I had no idea it was going to happen,” Justin later said of the surprise reunion. “All of a sudden he was just there.”

©YouTube Screenshot | 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

“I thought he was, I don’t even know how many miles (away). The next thing you know he’s standing there and I’m giving him a hug.”

©YouTube Screenshot | 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Watch the touching reunion in the video below:

You may also want to watch this video

Soldier just got back from his first tour, but when he tip-toes into house—family gets huge surprise

 
Have You Heard About This?

The world is celebrating 300 million withdrawals from CCP—and this number is expected to grow

The world is celebrating 300 million withdrawals from CCP—and this number is expected to grow
There is a grassroots movement sweeping China, but few outside China are aware of it. It is creating ...
READ MORE >
 
Top Hot
This is the ultimate in performing arts, but China doesn’t want you enjoying it
This is the ultimate in performing arts, but China doesn’t want you enjoying it
Shen Yun Performing Arts began taking shape in New York in 2006. At that time, a group of ...
READ MORE >
This cute puppy looks just like any other dog—but when he stands up, your heart will stop
A puppy born without front legs was thrown in the trash by its former owner and left to ...
READ MORE >
Young man prepares to play last football game. When he’s told to look behind—he starts running
It can be tough for children to be separated from their military mother and/or father while growing up, which is why one ...
READ MORE >
 
 
Story of Conviction
Sixteen years ago on the afternoon of Nov. 20, 2001, 36 Westerners from 12 countries quietly appeared on Tiananmen Square—the ...
READ MORE >
As a boy, he didn't go home like the other kids after school. He'd complete his homework on ...
READ MORE >
 
RELATED