Airman Surprises Parents Ahead of Holidays

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Sunday night was special for Jaime Rodriguez and his family – together for Sunday night football, during the holidays, under one roof. It hasn’t been this way for a while.

“I hadn’t seen them, because of the pandemic and everything. I hadn’t seen them in over a year,” said Rodriguez.

He’s one of our service members. Having spent four years in the U.S. Air Force, his parents have grown accustomed to not having him home in North Texas. They certainly didn’t know he would be in town ahead of the holidays.

“I actually had to hide for two weeks from my parents at my brother’s house,” said Rodriguez.  “They had no idea I was secretly hiding. I was already in Texas. They had no idea.”

It was a well-laid plan that led to a special moment at AT&T Stadium on Thanksgiving Day. His mother, Mayra Nino, said it was a day she will never forget. She thought the tickets were just a treat from their other son who knows they’re lifelong Cowboys fans.

“We’re sitting there, relaxing and to see him come right behind us, that was like an amazing, priceless moment,” she said.

Rodriguez surprised his parents by showing up at the game unannounced. His mother said all the worry and time spent apart made it that much sweeter.

“It’s been very difficult for both of us the moment he first left and being away off and on not knowing when they’re coming back,” Nino said.

Rodriguez said he simply wants to make his parents proud and give the gift of togetherness on the holidays.

“To be able to sit here with them and spend the holidays with them, I definitely don’t take that for granted,” he said.

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