DAVENPORT, Iowa — The Rice family knows goodbyes are hard, but this Fourth of July they learned hellos are easy.
Adria Rice, an 18-year-old Navy sailor, didn’t think she’d make it home for the holiday weekend to celebrate her niece’s third birthday.
When she realized she could, Adria teamed up with her sister and the River Bandits to make this homecoming special.
“I know we are thousands of miles away from each, but I just wanted to give you a little piece of me for the Fourth of July,” Adria said in a video message to her parents over the River Bandits scoreboard.
Her parents, Ryan and Chrissy, thought they were being honored as “Fans of the Game,” but then they turned around and saw Adria.
“I’m like, ‘OMG.’ I’m like, ‘What’s going on?'” Chrissy said. “I mean it was just so overwhelming and such a surprise. I’m blessed, very blessed.”
Adria is following in the steps of her father — a military veteran.
“I don’t know that there’s words to explain how proud we are,” Ryan said. “Every time I see her in a uniform or every time I see a picture, I just smile. I’m proud. ”
That’s a feeling that goes both ways.
“The looks on their faces every time I come home is just the greatest thing ever,” Adria said.