Clemson University

Clemson football player has tearful reunion with Army dad returning from Afghanistan

Clemson’s Lucas gets surprise reunion with Army dad during Military Appreciation Game

Clemson running back Ty Lucas was reunited with his father, Army CPT Cody Lucas, during the team's Military Appreciation Game. Ty Lucas hadn't seen his father in nine months.
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Clemson running back Ty Lucas was reunited with his father, Army CPT Cody Lucas, during the team's Military Appreciation Game. Ty Lucas hadn't seen his father in nine months.

The only thing bigger than freshman running back Ty Lucas’ face Saturday night was the hug he gave his camo-clad father, who returned home early after nine months in Afghanistan to surprise his son before Clemson’s Military Appreciation Day game.

Capt. Cody Lucas, signal advisor for the 1st Security Forces Assistance Bridge in the U.S. Army, returned home Thursday night after nine months in Afghanistan.

Video posted to the Clemson football Twitter page showed Lucas, wearing his uniform, and standing inside the tunnel that leads to the team locker room in the stadium before Saturday night’s game against Duke, which honored military service members.

“You think I’m in Afghanistan right now,” he said into the camera, just before the team exited the field into the tunnel. “I’m here to surprise you.”

Ty Lucas’ jaw dropped when he saw his father, and the two shared a long, teary-eyed embrace before high-fiving each other and hugging again.

“It was a huge surprise,” Ty Lucas said in the video before pulling his orange helmet down over his face. “The best thing ever. I was not expecting it at all.”

The responses of Twitter users showed more tears.

The Tigers went on to beat Duke 35-6. Halftime festivities for the game included the playing of “Taps,” a 21-gun salute, the laying of a wreath and the recognition of veterans and active-duty military.

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