ATLANTA -- After spending more than half of the past decade serving multiple military tours throughout the Middle East, SFC Jason Sullins provided his family a heartwarming surprise as he welcomed them to SunTrust Park before the Braves played the Mets on Tuesday night.
Provided a chance to return to the United States approximately three months earlier than expected, Sullins arranged for his parents, brother and sister-and-law to attend the game. As the family members arrived during batting practice and posed for a picture behind the plate, Sullins came out of the Braves dugout and put his arms around the family members who did not initially know it was him who had stepped in to "photo bomb" them.
"It went better than I expected," Sullins said. "I am just happy my family didn't pass out or anything. It was great to have them here. This was my last deployment. So to be able to do this with my family was just great."
Sullins, a native of Flowery Branch, Ga., has spent the past 19 1/2 years in the military. With the expectation that he will never again be deployed to the Middle East, he is now planning to continue his military service by handling a desk job in the Orlando, Fla. area.
"It'll be nice to be somewhere to settle down a little bit," Sullins said.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.