Mid-Michigan soldier surprises wife and son during Rose Parade - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Mid-Michigan soldier surprises wife and son during Rose Parade

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(01/01/13) - A very touching, surprise reunion played out on national TV Tuesday during the Tournament of Roses Parade.     

It featured a Mid-Michigan solider, his wife and their young son.

Sergeant First Class Eric Pazz, from Clio, kept the surprise very close to the vest - even telling his own mother what would happen Tuesday was classified.

He just asked his family to watch the parade on TV.

His wife and son were there in person thinking they'd won a contest.

"Eric got ahold of me a couple of weeks ago and said, 'Mom you have to take the day off work and watch the Rose Bowl Parade,'" says Laural Pazz.

That's about all she knew.

Her brother, Jeff Hamilton, didn't know much more.

"He's a jump master so I thought he was going to skydive in," Hamilton says. "My sister thought he was going to be here.  Everyone was speculating."

So the family gathered New Year's Day, tuned in and crowded around the TV in Hamilton's home.

"We were watching the parade and all of a sudden Shirl screams, 'There he is,'" Pazz says.

The soldier had walked off of the "Canines with Courage" float, surprising his unsuspecting wife and son who had been posing for a picture.

They'd been flown in from Germany, thinking they'd won a contest to watch the parade in person.

"He left for Afghanistan in June. That was the last time she seen (sic) him," Pazz said. "I just wanted to jump through that TV and just grab ahold of him. It was pretty emotional."
Pazz has two sons in the army. Both are stationed in Afghanistan.

The family got to relive the sweet surprise Tuesday night when World News with Diane Sawyer ran a story on it.

The reunion was coordinated by the military and pet food company Natural Balance.

Pazz, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan and received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, will spend the rest of the week in California with his wife and son. He then returns to Afghanistan until his discharge date in March.

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