Returning Marine’s Family Reunion at Lockheed Martin
By Scott Pavich
MFC’s 2012 Family Day was a great opportunity to share our pride and create memories with our families. For me, it was a memory our family will never forget.
After graduating from the Naval Academy, my younger brother Greg decided to join the Marines where he has served for almost four years. He contacted me in July, during his most recent tour in Afghanistan to let me know that he may be coming home in September instead of December. He asked me to keep it a secret so he could surprise our parents.
I had already mentioned MFC’s Family Day event to my parents and they were excited about the visit. So when I told Greg we might be able to surprise our parents at Family Day, he loved the idea! The timing ended up being perfect. He flew back to Ft. Lejeune in North Carolina on the Monday before Family Day and flew to Orlando Friday night. He managed to keep his return a secret by telling my parents he was moving bases within Afghanistan so they should stop sending care packages. He even Skyped with them while he was in his apartment in North Carolina by hanging a sheet on his bed behind him and putting on his uniform.
I asked the MFC Communications and Security teams if they would assist in the surprise and they were very helpful. They let me drop Greg off early on Saturday and personally escorted him to the Administrative Tower where the surprise was to take place. The Communications team even set up cameras and video cameras to record the event.
As I drove onto the property with my parents, I was nervous about how they would react. Of course, I knew my mom would cry. But what about my dad? Will anyone faint? Are we doing the right thing by surprising them in front of all my co-workers? Maybe this should have been private. Oh well, it’s too late now. Hopefully everything goes well.
The plan was to have our picture taken in front of the Tower and then have Greg walk up from behind to join us. As we walked up to the Tower, Jon Hammerstein, the company photographer, asked to get a family picture. After the first picture was taken, Greg walked up behind us, put his arms around my parents and said, “Can I get in on this picture?”
I could see my mom’s eyes glance to the side to see who it was but she didn’t turn around. She later said she thought it was one of my friends who happened to sound like Greg. After a few seconds of awkward silence, my parents turned around to the surprise of their lives!
My mom cried and hugged him until she realized she needed to let my dad get a hug in as well. Everyone around us clapped and we were able to have a few more “real” family pictures taken. The whole event unfolded perfectly!
On behalf of my parents, my brother and my wife, I would like to thank Lockheed Martin for their help executing this surprise and their ongoing support of all U.S. troops. Semper Fidelis!
Scott Pavich is an engineer in Orlando.
My mom and dad don’t know they are about to get the surprise of their lives! That’s me on the left, my dad Paul, brother Greg, mom Jane and my wife Heather.