ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM)- The Texas Rangers and Globe Life Park staff helped pull off a heartwarming homecoming in the middle of the ballpark on Wednesday.
Army Staff Sargent Kevin Welch arrived home early from deployment in South Korea, but his three kids had no idea he was back.
“I’m not sure what to expect, I think they’ll be surprised to see me,” said Welch.
To make sure the reunion was unforgettable, his wife turned to the Texas Rangers.
“It’s been forever. Like a kid on Christmas morning…when you’re five and you can’t wait for the day to come. That’s what it feels like,” said wife Laura Welch.
The kids thought they were getting a tour of the ballpark and to keep the reunion a surprise until the very last minute, Sgt. Welch went incognito. Dressed in a Rangers jersey, hat and sunglasses, he played the winner of a ‘groundkeeper for a day’ contest, who was being filmed for television. The disguise worked long enough for his kids to ask him if the grass on the field was real. When he answered, his kids stopped in his tracks.
“Oh my God!” gasped one of them, in the midst of hugs and laughter.
The surprise was carried out – without a hitch!
“Surprising. I did not know that was going to happen,” said daughter Hannah.
“I was very surprised and I was glad to have my dad back,” said Madelin.
Sgt. Welch’s 15-year-old son Austin says he could tell something was up.
“I was expecting something, I don’t know what it was but it was good.”
The long wait is finally over and a military family is together again.
Sgt. Welch is home for the next month. In that time – the family will move to Illinois.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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