A soldier’s surprise for his family at a Philadelphia Flyers game gets points for being awesome.
Private First Class Matthew Windish was serving in Korea as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. His brother, Chris Windish, said he wanted to give his parents a big surprise for Matt’s return to the states around Christmas time. Christmas is always a great time for miracles.
He was watching Youtube videos of military homecomings trying to come up with an idea. Then one struck him that almost knocked him out of his chair.
“You should have seen me in my office,” Chris said. “I was flipping out. People wondered what I was doing. I called my brother and told him what we were doing. We brought him home a week early and had to hide him for a week.”
He sent an email to the Philadelphia Flyers telling them his plan. Then he called up his brother and told him what was going on. So three weeks earlier than his parents expected, Pfc. Matt Windish returned home to the states.
Chris had his friends hide Matt for week before the Flyers game. The Flyers then put a call in to Matt’s parents, Mark and Joann. They were told that they were being asked to come to the game between the Flyers and Canadiens to see a military tribute video for their son.
A little suspicious, but in denial since Matt wasn’t due home until December 20th, the Windish parents attended the game. Late in the second period the whole family was brought to the Zamboni tunnel to view the jumbotron. A seven foot tall Christmas present was wheeled up behind them. The Windish family turned around to see the present being opened. Underneath the wrapping was their son, in a life size G.I. Joe box holding flowers for his mom. The response was priceless.
“I was surprised,” Joann said. “First I thought he was coming home, but then I didn’t think he was going to. I just thought it was going to be a video, but when they opened up that box and I saw his face … we have missed him so much this past year. It was an awesome surprise.”
The crowd went nuts at that point, with loud cheers of “U.S.A., U.S.A.” Matt’s father Mark said of the incredible surprise, “Here it is, he’s home. I don’t know what to say. It’s unbelievable. Nothing has ever happened to me in my life, like this. It is just fantastic.”
It might be difficult to come up with a better Christmas present than this soldiers surprise for his family.