PEARL, Miss. - There have been several instances of soldiers coming home unannounced and surprising their families, usually at school with unsuspecting children. But one army major back from Afghanistan went to great lengths to surprise his wife.
It was an average night when Jackson, Mississippi resident Darla Harlow and her two daughters were enjoying the field after winning free tickets to see the Braves. Little did Darla know, she would soon be randomly selected to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game.
She also didn't realize she would be in for the surprise of her life, because behind the plate to receive her first pitch was her husband, Major Mark Harlow, who just returned from deployment in Afghanistan.
"It took a couple of seconds, " said Darla. "I was just shocked."
The two hadn't seen each other in over nine months.
"I wanted to make sure she remembered what I look like," said Michael. "I didn't through the mask."
Michael just completed his mission in Afghanistan with the Mississippi Army National Guards 184th Joint Sustainment Command. He and his two daughters Molly and Casey had been working on this plan for over two weeks.
Michael said the idea behind the surprise fit perfectly with the background between the two.
"The first time I ever saw her I was watching an Atlanta Braves game and we watched some of that and later we got married," he said. "We were so poor we had to save up money to buy a dill pickle. But we came to a AA baseball game in Jackson."
It was a first pitch this couple will never forget.
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