Soldier returning from Afghanistan surprises his family in mascot uniform at football game

A soldier returning home Afghanistan surprised his family dressed as a polar bear mascot at a local football game.

US Army Specialist Justin May, disguised as the Bracken County High mascot polar bear, caught his father Ronald and brother Ryan unawares when he removed the costume head on the field.

The American soldier had just returned home from an 11-month deployment, including nine months in the Middle East, when he decided to make a grand entrance last Friday night.

ather Ronald, who is an assistant coach for the football team from Brooksville, Kentucky, embraced his son after he revealed himself.

According to Fox 29 Philadelphia, father Mr May said: ‘It was crazy, I mean, just proud of him, glad to see he's home safe.

After the coin toss the announcer congratulated the soldier on his service in Afghanistan just as he removed the costume head as his father and brother, a member of the football team, ran over to embrace him on the midfield.

Ryan told The Ledger Independent: ‘He said he wouldn’t be in until my birthday next month. 

‘I wondered why all the news people were here tonight.’

Before his time in Afghanistan, Spec May had spent two months training in Texas.

The plan to surprise his loved ones was hatched by his mother Maria May and even the coach Mike Sizemore was in on the plan.

The hot faux fur costume was not enough to deter the cheeky soldier.

He said: ‘It is like being-in-the-dessert hot in here.’

Spec May almost gave his secret away when he posted on Facebook that he was ‘glad to be out of [Afghanistan],’ his mother said. 

Last year, three young boys couldn't hug their Army father fast enough when he surprised them during a football game’s halftime after being deployed to Afghanistan for more than seven months.


The Houston, Texas stadium was filled with cheers and tears when mascot Toro the bull lifted a wrapped cardboard box on the field to reveal Chief Warrant Officer Eric Spoerle, entirely to the surprise of his three sons.

Having been pulled to the sidelines after an essay contest, brothers Tristan and Brandon, along with their 2-year-old brother Eric Jr., were first distracted by cheerleaders rewarding them with jerseys and hats.


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