Soldier surprises family from Rose Bowl Parade float
PASADENA, Calif. (WHDH) -- Viewers may have seen it during the Rose Parade telecast New Year’s morning - a surprise reunion that happened along the parade route.
It started with a ruse. Miriam Pazz, U.S. army wife living in Germany was told she'd won a front-row seat at the rose parade.
"I was so excited. This was my first time being here,” said Pazz.
Like so many military spouses, Miriam hadn't seen her husband, Sergeant First Class Eric Pazz, for many months.
I think about him "every day. Every minute, almost,” said Pazz.
Sergeant Pazz has been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan through four tours, receiving a bronze star and purple heart in battle. So the float's sponsor - Natural Balance Pet Foods - set up a surprise for Miriam -- secretly flying him back from Afghanistan, and putting him on the float. He said it was hard to keep the secret.
"She just knows me well enough to know when I’m lying,” said Sgt. Eric Pazz.
"Turned around and there he is!” said Miriam Pazz.
In a moment captured by Rose Parade cameras, and beamed around the world for tens of millions to see, Sergeant Pazz hopped off the float, ran up to Miriam and their four year old son and gave them a warm hug. Little Eric looked like he'd just seen Santa Claus in real life.
“He looked up at me: 'Daddy, is it march already? Is that why you're home?' to be honest with you, I was choking back tears the whole time,” said Sgt. Pazz.
"It's amazing. It's awesome. I feel really lucky,” said Pazz.
A "tournament of roses parade" moment ...made extra-special for one family - together at last.