Soldier Makes Surprise Homecoming At Sister's Softball Game
Published March 23rd, 2013
NEWBERRY - It's a homecoming... that ended up becoming a home run. A soldier from Newberry on his way home after serving in Afghanistan decided to try and surprise his sister in a big way on Friday.
Robert Southland, 27, is a soldier in the US Army based in Kansas. After spending nearly six months in Afghanistan, Southland decided to come back home to Newberry. But the soldier, who admits he likes surprising people, said he didn't want his homecoming to be anything ordinary. Southland wanted to surprise his younger sister Rachel, 15, in a way she would never forget.
Rachel and Robert's father, Alan Southland, said both his son and daughter were very close while growing up. Southland says Rachel was devastated when Robert decided to enlist in the Army.
Rachel is an avid softball player, and has been playing for nearly six years. She currently plays first base for the Newberry High School softball team. Rachel's father says she tears up after hearing the national anthem played before every softball game.
In order to surprise his sister, Robert decided to run onto the field while the national anthem was playing, and surprise her when she turned around.
So when the music started blaring, Robert made his move, and gave his sister the surprise of a lifetime. After their reunion, Robert said everything went as he had planned. Rachel still couldn't believe that her brother was back home.
Robert Southland has a couple of weeks to spend with his family in Newberry before he has to drive back to Ft. Riley in Kansas. He says he already has a few more tricks up his sleeve for the next time he comes back into town.
- Happy Homecoming for Gainesville Soldier
- Soldier Surprises Son in Time for Christmas
- Making a Difference in Lives of Soldiers
- A Father's Day Surprise
- Sibling Rivalry, Teammate Bond: Gainesville Softball's Donovan Sisters
- Force Sisters Visit Children's Hospital Before Race
- GPD officer makes catch at UF vs FSU game
- Gainesville Man Goes to Prison for Stealing Soldier's Identity
- Soldier Returns in Time for Father's Day
- "He Loved Everything about Being a Soldier," Fallen Hero's Body Returns Home