ONSLOW COUNTY, RICHLANDS - An everyday little-league game turns into an extraordinary surprise for one of the young players.
It's all because a military father decided to surprise his three young children just in time for Father's Day at Steed Park in Richlands.
Ayden Cruz, 10, had no idea that his dad, Sergeant Todd Cruz, had returned home from a seven month deployment in Afghanistan.
Ayden's dad was there to surprise him dressed as an umpire on the field.
"I'm very nervous I haven't seen my kids in about eight months. Butterflies and all I feel like it's the first day of school," said Cruz right before the big reveal.
Ayden was the starting pitcher for the game and went to the umpire to get the ball. That's when he realized the man behind the mask was his dad.
Ayden greets his dad with a big hug and Cruz and his family are reunited once again.
"The surprise if out of the bag now," said Cruz with his son by his side.
It was a moment many fans said they'll never forget.
"It was very precious, very emotional moment and made me cry," said Jamie Wallace.
"I just felt so teary eyed it's heartwarming to see a dad and a son unite again after so long of a deployment," said Georgette McRae
Cruz's wife, Amanda Cruz said she's glad to have her family back together.
"Happy, I'm very happy that he's home," she said.
"It's good to be home, so good to be home," said Cruz.
He said he doesn't know when he'll be deployed again but he hopes to spend the rest of the summer playing with his kids.
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