A soldier who has been overseas for the past nine months wanted Friday night’s Pulaski Yankees game to be one his kids would never forget.
Before the game, Sgt. Michael Tabor said he was feeling nervous. He had been planning this night at Calfee Park for the past three months.
“I’m just going to walk out there and see how long it takes them to figure it out,” Tabor said.
Tabor has returned home after nine months in Kuwait. He’s been deployed before, but this time was different.
“The first one I didn’t have kids,” Tabor said. “This one I did. So it took a toll on us all.”
Landen, 7, and Kara, 4, thought they were there to meet mascot Calfee, but what they didn’t know – someone else was also waiting for them.
Sgt. Tabor hid in a utility closet so he didn’t spoil the big moment.
“I’ve been home for two days, and it’s crazy not to try to go see them and do things with them,” Tabor said.
After the big moment, the kids confirmed they were surprised.
“It was the best moment of my life,” Landen said.
“I love him,” Kara said of her father.
“I know how hard it’s been on the kids and on Mike being gone, and so just seeing the joy on their faces and on Mike’s, to have him home and to be able to give him a real-life hug again was amazing,” said Brandi Tabor, Kara and Landen’s mother.
And for Dad, the surprise was everything and more he hoped it would be.
“I am so happy to be back with these two weasels,” Michael Tabor said.
Sgt. Tabor is expected to be home for at least six months. Next, he said, he and the kids are getting away for a bit on a cruise to Barbados.