Deployed Dad Surprises Sons With Big Ben’s Football Camp
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Passes come fast and furious, and so do catches, at Ben Roethlisberger’s Football Camp. Among the campers are Andrew Ziegler and his brother, Steven, courtesy of their father, Navy Commander Mark Ziegler.
“My husband is currently stationed in Afghanistan,” says his wife, Dena. “And he gave the kids the gift of Ben’s camp for something to look forward to while he was away. And today is Steven’s 12th birthday.”
Dena Ziegler shared her sons’ stories on the Steeler quarterback’s website.
“So I ended up reading that,” Roethlisberger says. “So I called them out today, and today happens to be his brother’s birthday as well. So we sent them both deep, and I had his mom come down so she good get good footage and send it to their dad in Afghanistan. So it all worked out really great.”
Andrew sprinted down the sideline, as Mom shoots the video. Other campers cheer as he makes the catch.
“It’s the best feeling in the world,” the boy says afterward. “He’s my hero. I didn’t dream of it happening.”
Then it’s his younger brother’s turn. A big stretch, and Steven comes down with the ball.
“He threw a perfect pass, and it was my job as a receiver to catch a perfect pass,” Steven says. Speaking of his dad, he adds, “I’m really excited for him to see it, because he’s my dad and he’s serving in Afghanistan , and I just want him to see the moments we’ve had.”
Dena Ziegler sums it up: “It’s just something they will treasure for the rest of their lives.”