News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, Oct. 8, 2012
HARLEM, Ga. -- Talk about the surprise of a lifetime. One local military family was reunited during a surprise homecoming at the University of South Carolina football game this weekend.
Sgt. 1st Class Scott Faile had been planning the big surprise for the last three months, and on Saturday, he brought Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia to tears.
Tammy Faile and her two children knew they were the military family of the game. Her husband had been stationed in Korea for the last year.
"We were going to have VIP seats, an escort into the game, gifts and prizes and they were going to do a presentation during the pregame," she said.
But after they were done smiling and waving, they were not expecting what happened next.
"Turn your attention please to the video board for this special message," said the announcer in the stadium.
"Hey guys, love you, miss you," boomed the voice of their father and husband.
Tammy and the kids lost it when they saw their soldier on the big screen.
"When we saw him, all of our emotions started coming out, and we all cried, very much," Tammy said.
"I usually just see him on a little tiny screen and then to see him like that, it really did feel like he was right there," said their daughter, Breanna.
"People don't realize the sacrifices that you guys make as a family," Scott said. "Most fathers pride themselves in wanting their families to look up to them, but I have to admit, I'm the one that looks up to y'all. Just keep in mind that my tour is almost over ... and I'll see you real, real soon."
"I was upset because he was done talking and we weren't going to be able to see him anymore," said Tammy, talking about when the taped message was over.
Little did Tammy know ... they had one last surprise for her.
"Please welcome back from Korea, Sgt. 1st Class Scott Faile," said the announcer to the packed stadium.
The family went running, and the fans went crazy.
"So when we turned, we saw him and that's when we took off. It was overwhelming," Tammy said.
"Then when we saw my dad come out, just to hear everybody start yelling, it just got a whole lot better," explained their son, Cameron.
"To finally get to see them, it was just a relief to know, hey it's over, I'm home and I get to see them. That was pretty cool," Scott said.
And more than the surprise, it was the larger-than-life thank you in front of over 85,000 strangers that meant so much to his family.
"It was probably one of the most romantic things he's ever done," Tammy said. "He's very quiet, very private, so to say that to us in front of everybody was just ... I can't express it. It was unbelievable."
"It doesn't matter who goes where, the families always sacrifice because their the ones that have to stay back home and their without their loved ones. So I just wanted to do something for my family," Scott said."It was pretty special, pretty special."
That was Scott's third tour, and they are so glad he's home for a while. Cameron says he's excited his dad can see him play football and Breanna is ready to drive dad around town now that she has a license.