The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

September 14, 2013

Air Force father dons tiger mascot costume to surprise kids

NORMAN, Okla. — Norman High School football player Josh Farley received the surprise of a lifetime Friday night as he stood under the bright lights of Harve Collins Field.

The Norman senior walked hand-in-hand onto the field with fellow team captains and the school mascot, a fully-masked tiger, for the coin toss. Just moments later, Josh discovered the tiger was none other than his father, Jeff Farley, returned from a deployment overseas with the U.S. Air Force.

Towering a full head over his father, Josh, 17, immediately embraced his father in a bear hug.

“I’m in shock,” Josh said. “I’m just happy as can be.”

Josh’s siblings, Mikayla Farley and John Dean, weren’t far behind to greet their dad.

Mikayla, a 15-year-old Norman High sophomore, wiped away tears as she clung to her dad’s side. John, 18 years old, beamed as his focus shifted between his father and his fully-uniformed little brother.

“Actually, I had a weird feeling all day he was back,” John said.

The family, including Jeff’s wife, Jennifer Farley, hadn’t seen Jeff for five months while he was deployed with the Air Force in Quatar as a flight nurse.

Both Josh and John said they are grateful for the sacrifices their father made to serve in the military. John said in the few months Jeff was gone, he missed John’s graduation from Lexington High School and Josh’s first football game of his senior year.

“He lost a lot of time when he left, but I definitely look up to him for it,” John said. “It’s amazing. I’m definitely proud to call him my dad.”

Jennifer said the surprise wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the football team coaches and football booster club.

“You always see those little surprises on the news and stuff and I just kind of thought it’d be fun to do that,” Jennifer said. “... His coach, Coach (Greg) Nation, came up with this idea and I loved the idea.”

As for the future, Jeff’s plans are simple.

“We’re just going to hang out,” he said, smiling. “It doesn’t matter.”

~~~

Cruz writes for The Norman Transcript, a CNHI News Service publication.

 

1
Text Only
National and world
  • House Obama Lawsuit.jpg Republican-led House approves lawsuit against President Obama

    Just a day before lawmakers were to begin a five-week summer recess, debate over the proposed lawsuit underscored the harshly partisan tone that has dominated the current Congress almost from its start in January 2013.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Russia Putin web.jpg Sanctions could damage Russia

    The sanctions go further than earlier penalties — which had largely targeted individuals — by broadly limiting the trade of weapons and of technology that can be used in the oil and military industries. The EU also put its capital markets off-limits to Russian state-owned banks.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Libya web.jpg Thousands flee to Tunisia to escape Libya fighting

    Many diplomats, including the U.S. ambassador, have pulled out of the country. With the interim government paralyzed, the fighting threatens the planned opening session of the newly elected parliament on Aug. 4.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obit Robert Drew web.jpg Cinema verite documentarian Robert Drew dies

    Starting in 1960 with “Primary,” Drew produced and sometimes directed a series of television documentaries that took advantage of such innovations as light hand-held cameras that recorded sound and pictures.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obama Ukraine Russia_Hass_W.jpg GOP-led House approves lawsuit against Obama

    The suit will contend that Obama has exceeded his constitutional powers in the way he has enforced the 2010 health care law.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Texas: Gay-marriage ban best for children

    Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage allows the state to promote the birth and upbringing of children in “stable, lasting relationships,” the state’s attorney general argued Tuesday while asking a federal appeals court to reinstate the ban.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • OKCupid, Facebook not alone in studying consumers

    Dating is hard.

    July 29, 2014

  • Abortion-Mississippi_Hass.jpg U.S. appeals court blocks Mississippi abortion law

    The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to overturn Mississippi’s 2012 law requiring abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • U.S. Court: Virginia marriage is for all lovers

    “We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws,” Judge Henry F. Floyd wrote.

    July 28, 2014

  • Sierra Leone West Af_Brac-1.jpg New fears about Ebola spread after plane scare

    Patrick Sawyer’s death on Friday has led to tighter screening of airline passengers in West Africa, where an unprecedented outbreak that emerged in March has killed more than 670 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

Featured Ads