A team gets together early Sunday morning…but it’s not for practice.
“When the Christians get here and see this, I think they’re going to feel the love of everyone and we’re all sticking together and they’re all one team,” says Eric MacDonald, coach of the Hampden Academy ice hockey team.
The team is waiting to welcome home Major Lonnie Christian, a father of two players on the team, Logan and Hunter.
“There’s some kids that don’t have the chance to be with their families because their parents are overseas fighting to protect our freedom and I just think it’s really awesome that their dad gets to come home and spend the holidays with them,” says teammate Marcus Dunn.
The Christians have no idea the squad is here – a welcoming surprise from a sea of purple pride.
Now – it’s time to find his family.
Major Christian has been in Okinawa, Japan for the past 6 months with the Marine Corps…part of a two year service tour… But now, he’s home for the holidays.
“When you’re away you get to really appreciate the fact that you have family and what the holidays all mean to you so just being back and being able to spend that time with them is tremendous,” Major Christian tells. “This is great. I’m excited to be home.”
Major Christian says he wasn’t expecting this at all…although his son Logan had an inkling.
“I actually kind of wasn’t surprised because I’m coming out of the parking lot and I see Alex’s jeep and it had the license plate I think it has and then I go again and I see my other friends car and I see another car and I’m like is this just a coincidence or no,” Logan says.
Surprise or not….this team is proving it can show support both on and off the ice.
“Thank you guys,” adds Hunter. “I appreciate it a lot. I’m pumped to see my dad finally home.”