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Military father based in Germany adds new wrinkle to surprise reunion at son’s football game

Ben Rohrbach
Prep Rally

You probably won't be receiving a better Christmas gift than Justin Martel did.

During a German prep football game between Brussels and Bitburg, Martel thought he was getting a sportsmanship lesson when refs huddled members of both teams between the third and fourth quarters. The Bitburg star had no idea what would happened next.

Justin's father, Master Sergeant Joseph Martel, removed his helmet to reveal he'd been watching the entire game in a Brussels uniform on the sidelines. The Airman wasn't supposed to return home from active duty for at least another month.

The two Martels embraced in a tear-filled reunion at midfield (h/t Orlando Sentinel).

"I had no idea what was going to happen, and then all of a sudden he was just there," said Justin. "I thought he was -- I don't even know how many miles -- and next thing I know he was standing in front of me and I'm giving him a hug. You don't even know what to do. You just want to jump up and down like a little kid."

"It felt outstanding to be able to surprise him like that and see his reaction," added Joseph. "I'm exhausted, but I'm excited to see my son, to spend some good quality time with him and enjoy some football."

Military reunions get us every time here at Prep Rally, especially around the holidays.

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Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Prep Rally on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow Prep Rally on Twitter!

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