Two classy moves by the Flyers (hey, a win!) last night to honor two very different people.
First up, Private First Class Matthew Windish, who surprised his family by coming out of a giant G.I. Joe(-ish) box during a stoppage in play.
Chris had actually been home for a week, but the surprise, organized by his brother, was kept from his parents until last night. Here’s how the family explained it, in a transcript provided by the Flyers:
Windish family- big surprise here tonight. Mom, what was your initial reaction?
Mom: I was surprised. First I thought he was coming home, but then I didn’t think he was going to. I just thought it was going to be a video, but when they opened up that box and I saw his face… we have missed him so much this past year. It was an awesome surprise.
How did you manage to hide him for a whole week?
Chris: We went up to York, PA where I went to college. I have some friends up there that held him hostage for a little bit, then he came home.
Matt: I just hung out with a few friends, tried to keep it low, stayed off of Facebook.
Mom: It was a great surprise because when Chris first told us about this I went on to his friends Facebook profiles just to see if anybody said anything like, “Matt’s home”- anything to get an inkling about it, but there was nothing. Everybody kept it a really good surprise.
Aunt: I knew he was home though, I felt that he was home.
I cry during every one of these troop return videos. Every one.
Second: Danny Briere. He is firmly a made man within the OB ranks and will return once he retires. Look for him at functions and Alumni events for the next 40 years. So, naturally, and deservingly, he got a tribute video and a standing ovation.
Both videos – Chris Matthew Windish’s and Danny Briere’s return home – are after the jump.
Funny how Mike Richards only got a half-assed announcement about 10 seconds before a faceoff during his return.