Deployed Marine Surprises Two Sons At ECU Halftime

Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium was treated to an emotional military reunion, between a Marine and his two young sons.

9-year-old Noah and 8-year-old Elijah Ricafrente thought that they were contestants during a halftime throwing competition at the ECU football game today, but it was anything but.

A special message from the boys’ father, Staff Sgt. Joshua Ricafrente aired on the jumbo tron. In it he wished the two, good luck, and that he wished he could be there.

The challenge was just a ruse. Staff Sgt. Ricafrente stepped on to the field in advance of his end of the year return date from Afghanistan. Noah and Elijah burst with surprise and happiness, running over to a big bear hug from dad.

"My heart just stopped. I didn’t know he was coming so fast,” said Noah.

Dad, could hardly wait to take that walk onto the field, “Nervous, excited waiting. Just couldn’t wait to see them."