When you enlist in the armed forces, you are obligating yourself to make a significant number of personal sacrifices. The majority of these concessions are made on behalf of your family.
Those who have been away from their families for extended periods of time—months or even years—understand the difficulty of this situation. The effect on their families is the same regardless of whether they are required to leave for training or are actually deployed.
When one of the parents is gone for an extended period of time, there is undoubtedly some kind of imbalance, and it is undoubtedly a burden that is difficult for the other parent to carry.
But the thing that hurts the most are times like the one in the story when you truly wish your mother or father was there and it crushes your heart to witness other mothers and fathers be with their children. Moments like these are the ones that hurt the most.
Addie Rodriguez, who was just 9 years old at the time, participated in the school cheerleading squad. She started cheering not only because she felt it would be a pleasant sport to do after school, but also because she was searching for a diversion given that her father was in the Air Force and was required to be away from home on a regular basis.
According to Addie’s dad, Abel Rodriguez, “the most difficult aspect was having to leave my family.”
Addie shared her experience, stating, “It was sort of hard for me because I kept asking my mom when my dad was going to return home.”
Therefore, Addie was able to become an excellent cheerleader for Central Catholic School in San Antonio by putting a lot of effort into her training.
Addie was filled with joy whenever she took the stage as a cheerleader, but there was one day in particular when she felt an overwhelming sense of melancholy when she was cheering for her team.
Addie was cheering as usual during the football game on October 8, 2017, as she had done before. However, today was different from any other day since it was Parents’ Day.
This meant that parents were requested to participate alongside their children in the game by joining them on the field and doing a trick with them. Addie Perry’s mother, Alexis Perry, was in attendance to support her daughter, but Addie’s father was unable to make it to the game since he was overseas for military training at the time.
Addie’s mother, Alexis Perry, from San Antonio, Texas, told ABC News that she participated in the cheer that the other mothers did with their kids. “I was there, so I smiled with her, took a photo, and held her,” Alexis said. “Oh my my, I couldn’t believe it when I saw all the fathers standing in line,” she remarked. “I don’t know what I’m going to do,”
Following the girls’ recitation of the cheer, their fathers would do a stunt, after which the daughters would be carried aloft by their fathers. This is how Perry described how the routine would go.
Addie, however, could not find anybody there to support her.
And at that same moment, the most incredible event took place. A young guy by the name of Matthew Garcia scaled the fence, and in a matter of seconds, he was standing next to Addie, inquiring as to whether or not she would want to do the feat with him.
Watch the protagonists of this narrative as they retell it below, and see how emotional they grow as they do so.