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Soldier surprises family at Flyers game

The Flyers gave the Philadelphia fans something to smile about on the ice Thursday night by earning a big 2-1 over the Canadiens.

The team also provided quite a few smiles off the ice as well.

According to, Pfc. Matthew Windish was not supposed to return home from a tour of duty for another three weeks.

His brother, Chris, came up with an idea to have Matthew come home early to surprise his family during the Flyers game.

The Windish family went to the game expecting only a video from Matthew to be played on the jumbotron, but they were told to turn their attention to a box with life-sized G.I. Joe inside.

Matthew was inside the box with bouquet of flowers to give to his shocked, yet very happy family.

"I was surprised," Matthew's mother Joann told "First I thought he was coming home, but then I didn't think he was going to. I just thought it was going to be a video, but when they opened up that box and I saw his face … we have missed him so much this past year. It was an awesome surprise."

"It was amazing," Matthew said. "My heart started beating so fast I really had no clue what was going on. I went blank for a little bit."

Read more of's report HERE.

[h/t to for the find. Video courtesy of the NHL's YouTube page.]