News and Events
Dean student surprised by reunion with his mother at Family Day home gameSeptember 26, 2010
Returning from duty in Afghanistan, soldier surprises son by singing the National Anthem at football game
Franklin, MA -- September 25, 2010 -- Dean Freshman Aaron Byrd got a huge surprise when his mother sang the National Anthem at Dean's home game on Saturday against Hudson Valley Community College.
Byrd, a defensive lineman for the Bulldogs was not surprised that his mother could sing, but that she was in the United States. She had just returned from her second tour of duty in Afghanistan and wasn't expected back stateside until later this year.
Master Sergeant Carla J. Murphy wanted to surprise her son at Dean's first home game of the season. Several staff members knew she was coming, but everyone was great about keeping the secret until just after the coin toss to begin the game.
"It gives me great pleasure to introduce a special guest to sing today's National Anthem," said John Jackson, Athletic Director at the College as he spoke to the large crowd gathered for the game.
As soon as Byrd heard his mother's name, he snapped around, ran towards her and gave her a bear hug.
Master Sergeant Murphy then sang the "Star Spangled Banner" to a teary eyed-crowd and was then cheered as she and her son embraced once more.
"I'm so happy that she's back," whispered Byrd as he was overcome by emotion.
"I missed his high school graduation, I missed him moving to college, I didn't want to miss his first college football game," said Master Sergeant Murphy.
The reunion piqued the interest of several regional television and radio stations as well as newspapers. Interviews with Master Sergeant Murphy and her son were broadcast Saturday and Sunday on CBS and Fox affiliates throughout the northeast. The reunion also ran on the front pages of the MetroWest Sunday News and the Milford Daily News.
To see the television broadcasts:
To read the articles:
Dean won the home game 23-3.