Reported by Lindsay Tuman

The excitement from this past football game came from more than just touchdowns.  A family reunited after months and countries apart. If you watched the game this Saturday you probably saw how emotional this homecoming was.

National Guard Specialist Robert Owens reunited with his family on the field of Sanford Stadium in front of 96,000 people. 
This is something some people probably didn’t realize Owens was with the National Guard in Afghanistan and his step-father Dr. Steve Brown also had been working with the National Guard in Afghanistan on an agricultural project for the past three years. He thought he was being awarded for work he did with that, but when he got on the field with his family, he was given much more than a plaque. This story really scores a field goal through your heart. 

This year homecoming meant a lot more than just a win on the football field. National Guard Specialist Robert Owens was expected home from Afghanistan in just a few weeks, his family worried everyday about his safety.  His step-father Dr. Steve Brown said, “He would call from Afghanistan fairly regularly, and we actually could hear bombs in the background from where he was. We were just counting the days until he could get home safe.”

So when Owens Surprise homecoming happened in the middle of 96,000 people, the family was shocked, especially his mom.  Brown said, “You can see her running across that field, knowing that’s her boy, coming home.”

While the family wrapped their arms around each other in happiness, fans surrounded them in applause and tears. 

One fan in the stands, Dowdy White was very moved by the scene. White said, “For that moment, everyone was with them, with that mother and with that family.” White has experienced something like this before. He remembers greeting his brother after he served seven months in Iraq.

Brown says his son needs a little time to recover now after such a whirlwind of emotion.  He said, “What people don’t understand is he literally went from war to the middle of a Georgia football game in 24 hours.”

His whole life was completely turned around in those twenty four hours. They might not make it to the Auburn game this weekend, but the family is happy to have Robert home for Thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays. This year they truly do have a lot to give thanks for.

Right now Owens has to go to New Jersey to meet up with the rest of his team for a little bit of training but he will return back to Georgia to be with the rest of his family until he has to go back for training in February.

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  • Claudette

    Having read this I believed it was really informative.
    I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this informative article together.

    I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

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