Airman returns from Afghanistan, surprises family at 51s game

Rikki Cheese


Airman returns from Afghanistan, surprises family at 51s game

CREATED Jul. 11, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Another happy homecoming for a Nellis airman fighting the war on terror. 

He surprised his family Thursday night at the 51s game at Cashman Field.
Stepping up the pitcher's mound, 11-year-old Jacob had no idea who the guy was who ran onto the field, masked as a 51s catcher.
Just hours before the first pitch, and  just hours after getting off a plane, Air Force Technical Sergeant Chad ditched his fatigues for a different uniform.
His wife Tara and son Jacob didn't expect him home from Afghanistan until next week.
Jody Shervanick of Southern Nevada Military families set the ruse in motion. She told Tara and Jacob the game was a salute to U.S. troops, and asked Jacob to throw out the first pitch. 
When his father took off the catcher's mask, his wife and son burst into tears, and as the family hugged, fans in the stands cheered.
Shane Aquino said, "It's always an exciting thing when anybody gets to come home from overseas, so him getting to do that, and surprising his young boy and especially his wife? That was pretty neat."
Dana Wilson said, "Warms your heart.  And you almost feel like crying with them."
Alan Ginsberg said it gave him "A sense of pride. Glad to be an American."
Air Force officials asked the media not to reveal the family's last name due to privacy and security concerns.