By Huellen Watson / Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
Airman First Class, Jeremy May, returned home this week after a seven month deployment in Southeast Asia as a member of the 186th Security Forces. Friday night he surprised his sister, Hannah May on the softball diamond at Newton County High School where he threw out the first pitch of the game.
“It was the best feeling in the world when I saw him walk out on the field,” said Hannah. “This has been a hard senior year with him gone.”
Airman May returned to the United States on Wednesday. He arrived in Newton County on Thursday and his family worked hard to keep his arrival a secret from his sister.
“It was my idea to surprise her,” Airman May said. “Ball has always been important to our family. Whether we were watching Hannah, Zach, or myself play, our family is always at a baseball or softball field. I knew if I surprised her it had to be at a ball game. “
Gina May contacted Justin Chaney, softball coach at Newton County, and he was on board from the start. “This was very special to me because I know the family so well,” Chaney said. “ Hannah May is a program builder. You can do lots of great things with kids like her. Her reaction made it all worthwhile.”
Hannah stayed with friends after the Cougars returned from Greene County Thursday night. She had no idea that her brother was home until she saw him enter the softball field.
Airman May threw out the first pitch and Hannah was behind home plate to catch the ball. As soon as the ball hit her glove she raced towards her brother and they embraced for several minutes. The spectators cheered them on with a lengthy applause as the brother and sister shared a very special moment in the infield.
"It was a sweet moment for me to see that sibling love,” Gina said. “They have their normal brother sister arguments so to see them locked in that embrace was so important to us as parents."
Hannah says this is a moment she will never forget. “He missed all of slow pitch,” she said. He didn’t see us win state. I kept thinking he was going to miss fast pitch season too. I am so glad that he is home. “