US airman returns home early; surprises son by dressing up as opposing football player during game

Joseph Martel returned home early from Afghanistan

BRUSSELS - A U.S. Air Force airman who came home from deployment in Afghanistan a month early found a unique way to surprise his teenage son.

Master Sgt. Joseph Martel and his wife drove two hours from their home at Spangdahlem Air Force Base in Germany to Brussels, Belgium, where their son, Justin, was playing in a high school football game.

At The International School of Brussels, Martel suited up as a player from the opposing team and walked onto the field with the rest of the team.

Martel stood before his son briefly before taking off his helmet and revealing his identity.

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

Watch video of the moment Justin recognizes his dad and tearfully embraces him before a hushed crowd.

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