Monday was shaping up like anther other day for brothers Hunter and Jack Hasenfus.
After school they headed out to the halftime facility at Plymouth South High School for wrestling practice as the Panthers put the final touches on things in preparation for Wednesday’s dual-meet opener at Hanover.
Jack asked to be excused from practice for a second to use the restroom, but his request was denied. He thought that was strange but went back to training.
A couple minutes later it would all make sense to Jack when United State Marine Corp infantryman Paul Hasenfus walked into the wrestling room to give his two younger brothers a Christmas surprise they surely will never forget.
Paul Hasenfus, a 2019 Plymouth South graduate, joined the Marines this summer and has been doing his initial training at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA.
“It’s a nice break from the recon training to get to come home and be with my family for three weeks over the holidays,” Paul said. “I wouldn’t want to miss Christmas with these guys and I thought it would be awesome to just show up and surprise them.”
“He got me. I was really surprised to see him walk through the door. It was pretty amazing to see him,” Hunter admitted. “I was completely unaware of this. Just a couple weeks ago he told us that there was no way he was going to be able to come home for Christmas.”
“This is the best Christmas present any of us could ask for,” Jack added. “It’s great to have Hunter home with us for Christmas.”
Being together at Christmas will have special meaning for the Hasenfus family this year, which also includes an older sister, Shaila, as well as their father, Paul Sr. The matriarch of the Hasenfus family, Patricia, passed away unexpectedly this summer from a previously undetected heart condition.
“She passed away while I was at boot camp. It all happened so quickly,” Paul said. “It’s going to be a tough first Christmas without my mom, but we will all be together as a family. That’s the most important thing.”
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