Soldier Surprises Son at Football Game by Dressing as Ref

by Thad Mitchell

It’s always a joyous moment when a soldier returns home from overseas to reunite with their loving family.

It’s an even more special moment when it is a surprise to the soldier’s family, who don’t they’ve come home. This is exactly what happened in Helena, Alabama last Friday night when a soldier dad surprised his football player son. It was a special surprise of the best variety as the boy had not seen his father in more than a year. The soldier father used his son’s football field for the big reveal — and it worked out perfectly.

If you have a box of tissues nearby — you may want to grab a few just in case the waterworks kick in.

Such a beautiful moment between a soldier father and son as they embrace for the first time in over a year.

The young high school football player is Fred Grooms III, a freshman on the Helena High School team. Grooms, who is 6’2″ and a standout on the field, thought he was heading to the middle of the field for a routine coin toss. He was wrong as his father stood waiting for him in the center of the field. Army Major Fred Grooms Jr. disguised himself as a football referee for the surprise reunion. He covered his face with a protective mask to keep his face hidden from his son in order to surprise him. The head referee gathered the players at the 50-yard line to conduct the coin toss. He instructs the player from each team to look directly at the game’s officiating crew. After Grooms III takes a look at each of the refs, his father removes his mask and reveals himself to his son.

Soldier Disguises Himself as a Referee to Surprise His Son

The ploy works to perfection as Grooms III realizes his soldier father is standing in front of him. The father and son share a lengthy embrace and they are both thrilled to see each other. The game’s audience, aware of what is happening on the field, applaud loudly at what they are seeing. It is a safe bet that there were likely a few watery eyes as well in the crowd. The embrace between father and son is beautiful to behold as both are full of emotion. Even the players from the opposing team clap their hands in support. It was a touching moment for practically everyone in attendance at the Friday night football game.

The internet is full of videos of soldiers surprising their families after returning to the country. If you find yourself feeling a little down, visit YouTube and watch a few videos of returning soldiers surprising their families. It is guaranteed to put a smile on your face and remind you of just what life is about.