Reunions
Teen’s overcome with emotion finding out school mascot is Army brother
She had no clue her deployed brother was really the person inside the costume. Her reaction is melting the internet's heart.❤️
Kate Miano
10.31.22

Some military service members have come up with really creative ways to return from tour.

After all, sometimes creating a surprise for your loved ones can add an element of fun to a difficult separation.

Pixabay - Kim Heimbuch
Source:
Pixabay - Kim Heimbuch

Army Sgt. Bradley Heden used his return from tour as an opportunity to get really creative and surprise his sister-in-law at her high school volleyball game.

He pulled off a reveal that no one saw coming and that brought out big emotions.

The mascot was really starting to act out during the volleyball game. Abby Baumgardner was getting annoyed.

YouTube - ViralHog
Source:
YouTube - ViralHog

Abby was there to play her volleyball game. She was focused on doing the best for her team and hoped to win.

But during warm-ups, the mascot started acting differently than they normally did.

When she was trying to practice, the mascot would reach over and knock the ball out of her hands.

YouTube - ViralHog
Source:
YouTube - ViralHog

The mascot’s behavior was getting really annoying, and Abby did not understand why they were trying to get in her way.

She tells The Daily World:

“I had no idea who it was at first. We have a new (student playing the) Bobcat, so I was so scared. I was like: Oh my gosh, this new Bobcat is a creeper”

But then the mascot took his costume head off.

YouTube - ViralHog
Source:
YouTube - ViralHog

In a shocking move, the mascot took the head of his costume off.

Doing so, he revealed his true identity: it was none other than Abby’s brother-in-law Army Sgt Bradley Heden.

He had been deployed to South Korea and Abby didn’t know that he had come home. She did not see this surprise coming.

Abby did not know how to react to who was underneath the costume.

YouTube - ViralHog
Source:
YouTube - ViralHog

When the mascot took his head off from across the gym, Abby saw someone she did not expect to see.

Excited to see her brother-in-law, she ran over to him squealing.

After a warm hug, the volleyball player melted to her knees and hit the floor crying.

Emotional as well, Bradley crouched down with her and rubbed her back.

YouTube - ViralHog
Source:
YouTube - ViralHog

After a few moments, a voice came on over the gymnasium’s loudspeaker to inform the rest of the crowd that they were witness to a reunion after 9 months of military deployment.

When the other people in the gym understood what was going on, they all started applauding.

All the while, Abby remained crying while the rest of her family joined for a group hug.

Bradley coordinated a great surprise with the school.

YouTube - ViralHog
Source:
YouTube - ViralHog

Bradley was so excited to see his family again. Despite all the excitement he still wanted to make a true moment out of it.

He coordinated with Aberdeen High School to borrow the mascot costume and pull off this reveal. He says:

“It was a rush of emotions. It was an incredible opportunity. I want to thank Aberdeen High School for allowing me to do that and loan the costume to me so I could give her that surprise…It was very heartwarming. It was incredible.”

YouTube - ViralHog
Source:
YouTube - ViralHog

This surprise kickstarted two weeks of fun family time before Bradley had to leave for tour again, and Abby was planning on making the most of it.

Abby and Bradley are extremely close, so his deployment was hard on her. She tells more about their relationship by saying:

“I can honestly tell him anything. He was always there for me, and when he was gone I couldn’t talk to him because the timing was all off…It was hard without him, but I’m so happy to have him back.”

YouTube - ViralHog
Source:
YouTube - ViralHog

Even though Bradley’s time in between deployments was short, the family was able to make the most of it.

His mascot reveal definitely helped to create beautiful memories for his family.

Watch the clip below to see the girl’s sweet reaction!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Kate Miano
[email protected]
Kate Miano is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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