Soldier surprises daughter with pitch-perfect homecoming

Soldier surprises daughter with pitch-perfect homecoming

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A teen girl who thought her father was still away on a military deployment was reunited with him after unknowingly throwing him the first pitch at the Pelicans baseball game Tuesday.

Staff Sergeant Richard Palmer, also a Myrtle Beach fireman, returned from Afghanistan for his second deployment in the past four years Tuesday and surprised his daughter before her graduation.

The fire department and Myrtle Beach Pelicans teamed up to help him do that. The baseball team invited the entire Socastee High cheerleading team to Tuesday's game, and rigged the first pitch contest so that Staff Sgt. Palmer's daughter threw the first pitch. Staff Sgt. Palmer, disguised in a catcher's uniform, caught the pitch, and then revealed himself to his daughter.

When he removed the catcher's mask, her surprise was unmistakable, as she hugged him and cried.

"This is super cool, it's like something off TV," Staff Sgt. Palmer said to our photographer at the game.

"I'm just happy my daddy's home!" his daughter said.

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