Thursday, April 24 2014 3:47 PM EDT2014-04-24 19:47:30 GMT
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local family received a big surprise at the Mud Hens game Thursday night.
was supposed to be a family reunion at the airport on Friday, July 5, but Chief
Petty Officer David Schuster of the U.S. Navy wanted to do things a little
Schuster and Ricard families were brought to Fifth Third Field to see a special
message from Schuster.
told me he was going to get a Hometown Heroes award," explained Schuster's
mother Pat Ricard.
watching the video – which was taped three days before on the flight deck of
the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower – they had no idea what was coming.
was there," Ricard said tearfully. "It's hard to say. I haven't seen him in
almost two years, so it was nice seeing him. I miss him."
never done anything like that before in my life," Schuster said of his part. "Just
to surprise somebody to that caliber is amazing…[It's] just as heartwarming to
be the person involved with the military homecoming as it is to watch it on TV."
Berkey native, Schuster has been serving in the Navy for 13 years, and is
returning home from a 9-month tour. A single dad of two daughters, he says he
couldn't have asked for a better day to pull off the surprise.
lot of people forget. We have Independence Day, and we have a military that's
always fought for us, and having a homecoming on the Fourth of July is just the
epitome of it," he said.
very dedicated to his job, he loves the Navy," Ricard said. "And he's a very
dedicated dad, and he's just – [I] couldn't be more proud of him."
home, Chief Petty Officer Schuster, and happy Independence Day.