U.S. Army Pfc. Joshua Case had a special mission to accomplish on June 7, when he was hosted as a special guest at Boeing South Carolina.
“We are here to surprise my dad. I haven’t seen him in over a year and it’s going to be a great surprise,” the private first class said. He pulled it off with the help of his dad's Boeing colleagues.
Case's father, John, is a fabricator for Boeing Fabrication’s South Carolina Emergent Operations. His son said the two have a close bond.
“We always had a good relationship, but when his dad died – my grandpa – it hit close to home and we realized you have to live every day like it’s your last,” Case said. "He’s my best friend.”
The site’s Security & Fire Protection team took it upon themselves to make the day memorable for father and son.
“The majority of my team are military vets or law enforcement personnel – and we really wanted to make this a very special occasion,” said Butch Moody, Boeing South Carolina Security & Fire Protection senior manager.
The Security & Fire Protection motorcade proceeded to the 787 Final Assembly building. Case, his wife and their Boeing escorts made their way to the staging area, then awaited his dad’s arrival. John Case’s manager, Joey Deacon, was in on the surprise and had called a brief meeting to clear the area and set the stage.
When he saw his son for the first time in more than a year, the elder Case tightly embraced him and tears of joy flowed.
The surprise homecoming came a day after Tropical Storm Colin peppered the Charleston area with heavy rains and wind. John Case took time to take it all in, then reflected on what it all meant to him.
“I woke up thinking today was a normal day. I was thinking about the weather and what kind of a day it was going to be," he said. "And it stopped raining, the sun’s shining, and my son’s here. Couldn’t be a better day.”