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Military mom’s surprise homecoming goes viral

By Michelle Li,
Published On: Sep 23 2013 07:51:41 PM CDT

Capt. J.R. Lund and her daughter Bella.


Arguably one of the most emotional videos taken at Camp Randall Stadium has nothing to do with a football game, and now it’s going viral.

The highlight is worth watching over and over again, as it explodes on YouTube and social media.

On Saturday, Capt. J.R. Lund surprised her teen daughter with a homecoming at the stadium during the University of Wisconsin Badgers game.

Lund had been serving in Afghanistan for the last six months as a veterinarian. When she learned she could come home, she wanted to surprise her 13-year-old daughter, Bella.

Lund called a friend, who also volunteers with the Badgers, to set up a homecoming plan.

“My mom’s friend Katie said they needed a military kid for the game,” said Bella. “She said that I would be perfect for it, so that’s what I was expecting.”

Bella was called to the 50-yard line during the first quarter. As the announcer mentioned her mother, everyone started pointing toward another entrance on the field. A shocked Bella spotted her mother in uniform and began running towards her.

“We both kind of ducked our little hat bills and went into our own world,” said Lund. “It was cool. It was a very personal moment.”

It may have felt personal, but the reunion appears to be social media gold. Within the first 24 hours of being posted, the recording topped more than 150,000 views on YouTube and had more than 52,000 likes on Facebook.

“It’s impressive,” said Lund. “There’s so much support for our military and our military families. We still have a lot of people deployed and a lot of families that don’t have their soldier at home. To have such a strong community and national support is very, very cool.”

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