Few occasions are as touching as a veteran homecoming, and adding an element of surprise makes it all the more special. That was the situation in December 2016 when the University of Notre Dame’s Matt Farrell first saw a video message from his brother Bo on the scoreboard.
Moments later, Bo walked onto the court to cheers from the fans and tears from Matt and his family.
Check out the heartwarming video below:
After the team’s big win against Colgate University, a video message from Bo echoed throughout the stadium. The soldier’s family had assumed he was still serving.
“This is First Lieutenant Bo Farrell wishing Notre Dame a very Merry Christmas,” he said. “Congrats on the win, and go Irish!”
Bo then had a special message for Matt. “You’ve always followed your hopes and dreams. I just want you to know how proud I am of you. I love you and I miss you very much,” Bo said. “And I look forward to being home with you soon.”
The camera then pans out to reveal that Bo was actually broadcasting his message from the Notre Dame locker room. Moments later, Bo walks on to the court.
Bo’s brother Matt races towards him on the court, and the two share a tearful and joyous embrace. The rest of the brothers’ family, including their sister and parents, were also in attendance. They joined the two on the court to complete the family reunion.
“What a special moment in South Bend,” the game announcer says. “Matt and Bo’s parents didn’t even know this was happening! What a special scene this is,” he says.
Bo was not scheduled to return until February, but he returned three months early and was able to surprise his brother and the rest of his family with the help of his grandmother. She had reached out to Notre Dame to put the entire occasion together.
The project had been in the works for seven months since Bo was first deployed to Afghanistan in May 2016.