ONLY ON 3: Dad surprises kids at lacrosse practice with early homecoming
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A family in New Hanover County is getting to squeeze their dad for the first time in seven months tonight.
Sgt. Brian Pittman surprised his family at his son’s lacrosse practice today after coming home early from his deployment. Pittman was waiting anxiously outside Roland-Grise Middle School wearing his uniform with pride.
“It’s been a tradition in my family for generations to serve in the military,” Pittman said.
This time, he was standing at full attention for his wife. It was the fourth time he was coming home from deployment.
“I really enjoy to serve my country, and sometimes that means going overseas for extended periods of time,” Pittman said.
He said that is never easy.
“You miss them so much,” Pittman said.
When he and his wife Benjalee found out he would be coming home from southwest Asia two weeks early, they started planning a big surprise.
“This will probably be Brian’s last big deployment,” Benjalee said.
“My wife said the kids are all grown up enough to where they’ll actually understand what’s going on,” Pittman said.
They coordinated with other family members to have all four kids waiting at their brother’s lacrosse practice Tuesday.
At first, the kids did not understand what was going on, but as soon as Pittman turned the corner, it clicked.
“I missed you guys,” Pittman said.
It was an an emotional moment for all of them.
“It’s like, okay, he’s finally actually standing there,” Benjalee said.
“This is honestly amazing, ’cause I had no idea at all,” Pittman’s daughter Sarah said.
“The deployment was longer than the others ones, but it was very awesome to see him come back,” Pittman’s son Josh said.
For their oldest, it was a special moment even though she has experienced it four times now.
“Both of us tend to change a lot during deployment, especially when I was little. It’s nice to be able to go up and hug him, ’cause that’s a very important feeling to me,” Sarah said.
Tonight, Pittman’s family said they were just going to enjoy having their dad home. Pittman’s sons said they cannot wait to get some fishing time in with him.