It was a very special night, Friday night, during the Whitecaps game against the Dayton Dragons.  *warning, you may cry*

During home games, the Whitecaps honor a local hero serving in the military; occasionally, like Friday night, they honor a service member who is stationed away, by bringing their family onto the field.

That’s exactly what Sarah Illbrinks family thought as they stood on the field, honored to represent Sarah who was the "Hometown Hero".  As far as they knew, they were just going to win a $25 gift card to Applebee’s.  Then the team surprised the family with a video message from Sarah saying, she was sorry she couldn’t make it home, but they would see her really soon; sooner than they think.

She said that because Sarah and the Whitecaps had a HUGE surprise for the family – even better that Applebee’s gift card!

As her family stood on the field and the crowd’s cheering, they were completely unaware that Sarah was actually coming on the field to join them!  The best part is when her mom sees her first… that reaction is priceless!

Sarah graduated from Grandville and has been in the Army serving her country since 2013.  She currently stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso but has also served in Bahrain.

What an awesome surprise and THANK YOU, Sarah, for your service!! Enjoy your time home in West Michigan!

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