Deployed Father Disguises Himself As Referee To Pull Off Emotional Surprise At Son's Game

Nov 24, 2021 by apost team

A military dad pulled off the surprise of a lifetime in October 2021 when he unexpectedly showed up at his son’s high school football game. Fred Grooms III, referred to as Fred, is a 9th-grade student at Helena High School in Helena, Alabama. He plays for his school’s football team and is used to meeting up with the opposing team and referees prior to the start of each game. However, the beginning of the game on Oct. 18, 2021, started off a bit differently than usual.

Fred Grooms Jr., referred to as Grooms, is in the United States Army and is the father of the high school football player. Based on their shared name alone, it’s clear that the two have a special bond with one another. Sadly, they haven’t been able to spend as much time together as they would like since Grooms has been deployed in Kuwait for close to a year.

It was a few weeks before his father was scheduled to come home when the younger Fred was playing in a school football match. When he went over to politely shake hands with players from the opposing team and speak with the referees, he was confused by their strange request to really get a good look at the faces of everyone around him.

After taking a good scan, Fred was shocked when he saw a familiar face looking back at him; it was his dad. It was a beautiful and emotional moment for both the son and father. Read on to find out more about this heartwarming surprise.

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According to FOX 5, Fred was met with the best surprise in October 2021 when his military dad showed up disguised as a referee at his high school football game. NBC News reported that Grooms had been deployed in Kuwait for almost a year. Prior to that, he had been able to attend most of his son’s sporting events but wasn’t able to during much of 2021 due to his deployment.

Before the football game started, Fred walked over along with some of his teammates to shake hands with the opposing team and to see who would win the coin toss. However, the referees gave him some unusual instructions. 

They told him to get a good look at everyone’s faces and get used to them, according to FOX 5. That’s when Fred noticed a familiar face among the referees and realized he was standing directly across from his dad. According to NBC News, Grooms wasn’t scheduled to return home until early November.

It was an exciting and emotional moment for both the father and son, and they quickly shook hands before finally hugging each other. The other referees and players, as well as the crowd in the stands, cheered the pair on.

“Watching him walk up unaware was really exciting, but then also kind of nerve-wracking because I hadn’t seen him in almost a year,” Grooms said. He even noticed that his son had grown five inches since the last time they saw each other. The surprising reunion was a long-awaited moment for both of them, and their heartwarming story has since gone on to be shared with people from all over the world.

What did you think about this heartwarming story? Let us know, and be sure to pass this along to your loved ones, too.

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