Brayden McDaniel hugs father Haywood. (via NHL/YouTube)
The Columbus Blue Jackets reunited a family Sunday night. After being away from home for a year to serve in the U.S. Army, Staff Sergeant Haywood McDaniel surprised his son Brayden during the first intermission, and the young guy couldn't stop staring at or hugging his father.
Staff Sergeant Haywood McDaniel has been serving with the United States Army in Cuba for the past year, but made a special return home Sunday night to surprise his son Brayden during the Blue Jackets outing against the Carolina Hurricanes.
The surprise came during the first intermission following a youth hockey game in which Brayden was named the MVP of the game. While sitting on the bench and about to take part in a post-game interview, Brayden turned to his right and saw his dad standing there. Brayden's jaw dropped before he hopped off the bench to give his father a hug:
Once the family is reunited, it's the way Brayden looks up at his dad that you can tell how special this moment is for the entire family. The young McDaniel can't take his eyes off of his father.
And the first thing they'll be doing once they get home? Well, tease mom, of course.