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  1. #1
    Zeus's Avatar
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    Big surprise for Childress in Afghanistan

    Big surprise for Childress in Afghanistan
    By JUDD ZULGAD, Star Tribune
    Last update: July 2, 2010 - 11:07 PM

    Brad Childress went right to work after arriving at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan on Friday. The third day of the NFL-USO coaches tour was under way, and there was plenty to be done.

    As Childress unloaded flak jackets, he walked past members of the United States military at the air base 30 miles north of Kabul. On his second trip with the gear, Childress greeted soldiers and introduced himself. He shook the hand of one thin Marine.

    "How are you doing? I'm Brad Childress, I appreciate everything," he told the young man. Childress was looking the Marine in the eye, their hands were clasped and after about three seconds the Vikings coach realized this was no stranger. It was his son, Andrew, who had been brought to Bagram without Childress' knowledge.

    "Honest to God, I had him by the hand and I didn't realize who I was looking at until ..." said Childress, his voice trailing off as he retold the story during a phone conversation Friday. "I couldn't believe it. I had no idea that was going to happen. We were in one spot and he's in another. Somehow they pulled it off."

    Vikings' Childress has emotional holiday; remembering my brother

    Happy Independence Day, Brad Childress.

    I was thrilled to read about the Minnesota coach's surprise reunion with his Marine son, Lance Cpl. Andrew Childress, at an Afghan military base on Friday. This is the second year that NFL coaches have visited the troops in Afghanistan (Andy Reid, Childress, John Fox and Marvin Lewis also spent two days in Germany visiting the wounded), and the Marines did a beautiful thing for Childress when he was greeting a line of troops just off the plane in Afghanistan. They put Andrew Childress in the line, and dad simply discovered him while shaking hands and greeting the men and women in uniform. Their bearhug, according to one eyewitness, lasted 60 seconds, a rocking hug that left each man emotional.

    The next day, Saturday, is when I spoke with Childress. It was at the end of long day of visiting troops and then attending a Fallen Hero ceremony aboard a C-130 aircraft. I saw one of these on my visit to Afghanistan two years ago. The entire base lines up at attention while the casket of a fallen soldier goes past; the casket is loaded aboard an aircraft and flown to the United States for funeral and burial. So the coaches went aboard the aircraft while the fallen man's friends said their final goodbyes. It was a touching and emotional night for Brad Childress, obviously, because there but for the grace of God could be his son, and it hit home.

    Then the two Childresses went to Brad's quarters and talked well into the night, and then the Vikings coach got on the phone with me. The connection -- cell from Afghanistan to cell in Boston -- kept cutting off, but we were on long enough for the message to come through: Father was incredibly proud of son.

    "Andrew's had this on his mind for a long, long time -- to serve his country,' Brad Childress said. "It goes against every instinct a parent has, obviously, to see your child go into harm's way. It's tough. But I am so proud of him and the man he has become.'


    Thanks to Josdin for the awesome sig!

  2. #2
    jmcdon00's Avatar
    jmcdon00 is offline Jersey Retired Snake Champion, Moto Trial Fest 2: Mountain Pack Champion, LL City Truck 2 Champion, Arithmetic sequence Champion, Troops Tower Defense Champion
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    Re:Big surprise for Childress in Afghanistan

    Wow, great story. Good for Chilly and his son.

  3. #3
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    Re:Big surprise for Childress in Afghanistan

    Very, very cool. I bet that was a pretty emotional moment for him.

    Good on the Marines for arranging this.
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?


  4. #4
    kspurplepride is offline Pro-Bowler
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    Re:Big surprise for Childress in Afghanistan

    Happy 4th Coach! God bless our troops!

  5. #5
    Purple Floyd's Avatar
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    Re:Big surprise for Childress in Afghanistan

    OK, I think it has been pretty clear I am not a big Childress fan but there is no way you can't appreciate that. I don't care who you are.

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