BOSTON — Fans at Sunday’s contest between the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings were treated to a beautiful moment when United States Army Sergeant Joseph Martinez made an unexpected appearance on the field to reunite with his wife, Amy, and two children.
Amy said she was overjoyed to see her husband after he had been stationed overseas since March, but she felt the execution of the surprise reunion was a little flat.
“It was pretty obvious that something was going on,” she said. “They pull the whole family onto the field out of the blue just to show us a video of Joe on the scoreboard. I was like, ‘OK cool, but I’m pretty sure you didn’t go through all of this just to show a video, so where is he?’”
Sure enough, when they then brought a man in a Santa Claus costume out to greet the family, he pulled off his fake beard to reveal it was the soldier.
“As soon as we saw the Santa from like 80 yards away, we knew that was clearly going to be him,” said their 11-year-old son Harry. “I mean why would there just randomly be a Santa on the field? There’s still like two more home games before Christmas and that didn’t even have anything to do with anything.”
Amy encouraged future families to think things through when put in a similar situation.
“I’m not sure there’s ever been a time where a military family with a parent deployed hasn’t been given the surprise reunion when called onto the field,” she said. “The sentiment is great, but it’s time for a little creativity.”
The video currently has 72,000 retweets on Twitter and the top comment as always is someone asking if “someone’s cutting onions in here.”