Soldier surprise arrives just in time for Mooney game day - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Soldier surprise arrives just in time for Mooney game day

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - A member of the Cardinal Mooney football team enjoys a special sendoff surprise.

A celebration to wish the Cardinals the best of luck for their match up against Clinton-Massie packed the high school parking lot Friday morning.
It was a proud moment that Senior Nick Bilas' dad didn't want to miss and this time, he didn't have to.

"This is only one time in my son's career, there's a lot of things I've missed in his lifetime in the military, same with my daughters, but this is one of these moments where I'm just glad to be here," Lt. Col. John Bilas says. 

Lt. Bilas is stationed in Okinawa, Japan with the U.S. Marine Corps and recently finished a disaster recovery mission in the Philippines. An anonymous donor arranged for a flight to bring the lieutenant home Thursday night to see his son Nick take the field one last time. 

Bilas' wife Kim captured their reunion on camera and describes the moment filled her heart with joy.

"To see our son and his dad come together like that, there's not words to describe it, it's really a true blessing in your heart, I'm very grateful," Kim Bilas says. 

She's calling this surprise their Christmas miracle and they plan to celebrate it that way all weekend until John goes back to Japan on Sunday. His deployment lasts for two more years.


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