PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — A decorated soldier originally from Michigan was reunited with his family Tuesday in a heartwarming moment captured by cameras and witnessed by millions during the 124th Tournament of Roses Parade.
» PHOTOS: 124th Tournament Of Roses Parade
Army Sgt. First Class Eric Pazz was riding on the “Canines of Courage” float sponsored by Natural Balance Pet Foods Tuesday when he was reunited with his wife Miriam and four-year-old son, Eric Jr.
“I was extremely nervous…extremely,” Pazz said.
Both were watching the parade from the grandstands after being told they had won seats in a contest. They were under the impression that 32-year-old Pazz was still deployed in Afghanistan.
“I turned around and there he is, and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh!’, and I’m trying to get Eric [Jr.] to see,” Miriam said.
“Immediately, I was trying to choke back tears. I picked up my son, I grabbed my wife, and said, ‘I missed you so much. I love both of you,'” Sgt. Pazz said.
Video of the parade shows the heartwarming scene as the family was reunited after seven long months. Eric Jr. ran towards his father with an announcer in the background narrating, “he sees Daddy. He had no idea.”
After the reunion, his family joined him on the float for the remainder of the parade.
“There are no words to describe it. I’m really thankful they chose my husband, too. It’s just overwhelming,” Miriam said.
Pazz said he was selected for his numerous deployments, valor awards, being wounded in service and his family situation.
“It’s a great honor to represent all the soldiers that are over there doing all these great things everyday that don’t get recognized,” the soldier said.