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Cheerleader whose dad can’t attend parents day suddenly gets swooped up by guy she doesn’t know

When you decide to join the military, you sign up for a lot of sacrifices. Many of those sacrifices have to do with your family.

Men and women that spend months or even years away from their families know exactly how hard this is.

Whether they need to leave for training or they’re deployed, the impact on their families is the same.

There is certainly some imbalance when one of the parents is away for a long time, and it is certainly a hard-to-bear responsibility for the other parent.

But what hurts the most is moments like the one in the story, when you really wish your mom or dad was there, while your heart breaks to see other moms and dads be with their children.

Addie Rodriguez, 9 years old at the time, was a cheerleader for her school team.

She took up cheerleading because she thought it was a fun activity to do after school, but also because she was looking for a distraction since her dad was in the Air Force, which means he was away from home very frequently.

“The hardest part was leave my family,” Addie’s dad, Abel Rodriguez said.

“I kept on asking my mom when was daddy gonna come home, and it was kind of hard for me” Addie explained.

So, through demanding training, Addie managed to be a great cheerleader for San Antonio’s Central Catholic School.

And, while every time she performed as a cheerleader made Addie happy, there was one particular day when cheerleading for her team made her especially sad.

On October 8, 2017, Addie was cheering as always during the football game. But this was not an ordinary day, it was Parents’ Day.

This meant that parents were asked to join their children in the field and perform a trick with them. Although Alexis Perry, Addie’s mom was there for her, her dad was away for training with the military, which meant he couldn’t attend the game.

“The moms did a cheer with their daughters and I was there, so I smiled with her and took a picture and hugged her,” Alexis Perry, Addie’s mom, of San Antonio, Texas, told ABC News. “When I saw the dads lining up I said, ‘Oh my gosh. What am I going to do?’”

As Perry explained, the girls would recite the cheer and the dads would follow along with a trick and the girls would get picked up on their dads’ shoulders.

However, there was nobody there for Addie.

And that’s when the most amazing thing happened. A young man named Matthew Garcia jumped the fence and in just a few seconds he was next to Addie asking her if she wanted to do the trick with him.

“I ran down the bleachers and hopped down near the fence,” Garcia said. “I asked, ‘Do you mind if I pick you up?’ She said, ‘Yes.’ I turned and saw the crowd clapping.”

The young man was a high school senior and he went on to study cardiology at the university.

Although Garcia didn’t think he did something special, his gesture totally made Addie’s day, who will certainly never forget him.

After the game, Perry posted a photo of him on Facebook and wrote a thank-you post. A community member identified him and she could personally thank him.

Watch the protagonists of this story getting emotional as they narrate it below.

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