Soldier surprises daughter at softball game after year-long deployment

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BRIDGEPORT, Ala. (WHNT) – There’s nothing more American than baseball, mom and apple pie. You can add something else to that list, a dad and daughter softball game.

It looked like the entire town turned out for the game of the year Wednesday night at Charlie Smith field in Bridgeport. The coach of the Trouble Makers had put together an exhibition game for one reason, so number 8 could have the game of her life.

Jaycee Garner got a hit when she went to bat, but the best play of the game was still to come. The six year old had no idea her father was watching his little all-star from the announcers booth . Steven Garner had just returned from a year deployment to Afghanistan with the 1151st engineering company.

When the dads were at bat, one of them faked an injury. The coach distracted Jaycee just long enough for her favorite soldier to step into the batter box. When she realized who was standing at home plate, she took off running as fast as she could to welcome her daddy home. It was the play of the day.

There wasn’t a dry eye on the field or in the stands. Jaycee and Specialist Garner were joined by his wife and two sons on the field. It was a welcome home fit for a hero.

Coach Jeff Grider said, “It reminds you of how good it is to live in such a small town where everybody means so much to each other.” It was a big day in a small town for a father daughter softball game where everybody was a winner

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