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VIDEO: Returning Soldier Surprises Son at Pee Wee Football Game

Eight-year-old Russell Boynton had a special surprise waiting for him at the Oak Forest Raider 50-yard line during homecoming Saturday, Sept. 24. His dad Dustin Boynton returned home from Afghanistan—just in time for Russell's big game.

The rush of running onto the field; the exhilaration of the roar of the crowd. The jitters before a big game.

Eight-year-old Russell Boynton might have felt just a hint of these before his homecoming game Saturday, Sept. 24. Then came the two big, strong hands scooping him off the ground and into a tight embrace.

Russell's dad—a truck driver with the U.S. Army 594th Transportation Company—was home after six months in Afghanistan, and he even made it before kickoff. Dustin Boynton wouldn't have missed Russell's game for anything in the world. When Oak Forest Raiders staff heard of Dustin's planned return, they and Russell's mom Kristi Schaefer made some plans of their own.

Dustin arrived in full fatigues and waited in the crowd as the players' mothers lined up on the 50-yard line. The announcer read off each name and the players ran out to greet their mothers. Dustin blended into the crowd until Russell made his way onto the field.

Dustin surprised Russell on the field, and Patch captured the moment on video.

Rebekah Rose Perkins September 26, 2011 at 08:28 PM
I was there and russel is on my brothers team. I watched it happen and my sister got a picture. people were crying, and in the tower they annocnced him. GO RAIDERS! even though we didnt win our homecoming game, it was still very awesome
Judy C September 26, 2011 at 08:37 PM
Great story!! Thanks to the Raiders for all they do for the community!!
Genvieve LaChappele September 27, 2011 at 01:14 AM
Sir, Thank you for your service.
Carrie Frillman September 27, 2011 at 03:34 AM
How cute is that? I love it :o)
dustin boynton October 12, 2011 at 01:33 AM
well thank you every one that let me be a part of that it will always be one of my fondest memories I just wish my time back had not been so short but I look forward to following the Radiers from half a world away Love you Russell and dont forget it doesnt mater if you always win just that you play

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