In Everyday Life

y mom is a University of Florida alum, and we have family living in the Gainesville area who attend games at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.  So, naturally, I grew up loving Gator orange and making fun of Volunteer “chuck-wagon-orange”

Why do the Tennessee Vol fans wear orange and white? They can wear it to the game on Saturday and to work on Monday when they’re picking up garbage during work release…”

I have great memories as a five year-old boy, bugging Gramps and Gramma to take me to the IGA to buy Stokely’s Gatorade…in the glass bottles! “Hmmm…lemon-lime? Or orange?… Lemon-lime? Or orange?” So many choices! (Lemon-lime always won.)

But, in all the years of watching games from the Swamp, no one, not Cris Collinsworth, Wes Chandler, Tim Tebow or even the Head Ball Coach himself ever made a more incredible run across the end zone than the one made by 5-Tour Veteran and Gainesville native, Chief Warrant Officer, Kristian Denkins.

Watch the short video – it will make you day!:

In the video, the mom clearly knows what’s about to happen. Notice the look on her face, with her tongue in her cheek, as she thinks, “just wait for the best part!” The kids watch the surprise video greeting on the jumbo-tron from Dad; Catch the echoing audio at the end of Denkins taped message “I love you and will be home soon, I promise…Go Gators!”  Watch the progressive wave of applause erupt as the crowd realizes it’s Denkins running across the field.  Feel the raw emotion of the son throwing himself into his dad and the youngest daughter trying to wedge her way into the family hug.  Share the joy of the tearing young fan in the stands…join the chant ”Go Dad!…Go Dad!…

The only thing missing was a “Whoa Nellie” from Keith Jackson.

The Gators may have announced their return to prominence in the SEC with a shellacking of the nationally ranked Ole Miss Rebels. They may have even found a star freshman quarterback after years of futility at the position. But, amid all the celebrating, the best part of that day was watching a husband, a dad, a sacrificing military hero, come home to his family, to his home, to his team.

Every returning service man and woman deserves to be welcomed home with such appreciation.

Originally posted October 3rd after the Florida Gators defeated the #3 Ole Miss Rebels 38-10

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