PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was the surprise of a lifetime for a local family this weekend when their brother, who is serving in the Army, returned home from overseas just in time for the holidays.
For the Manning family, just seeing Private First Class Anthony Manning is pretty special.
The family from Plum stood patiently while the soldier’s previously taped video played during the Penguins’ game at CONSOL Energy Center Saturday afternoon.
After thanking his family for all the support, PFC Manning then made the big reveal.
“How about you turn around and give your little brother a hug because I’m standing right behind you,” he said at the end of the video.
His sister, Brittany, wrapped her arms around her brother in disbelief that he is actually home.
“I was trying not to cry; it was a big shock,” said Brittany.
PFC Manning had been working with the Penguins for the past few weeks to arrange the monumental surprise.
“It was awesome. I was so nervous, my heart was racing,” said PFC Manning. “It was the greatest feeling just to be home though. I’m just happy to be home for the holidays.”
So is his family.
“Experience of a lifetime; it was incredible,” said Mike Manning, PFC Manning’s brother. “I want to also thank the Pens for doing all that they can. They made this above and beyond what it could’ve been and it was truly a blessing.”
A blessing that the Mannings won’t take for granted.
“Military families that can’t be with their loved ones right now, I hope you can have a happy holiday,” said Brittany.
“We understand what they feel and it’s a great thing to be able to have somebody that’s been away for so long serving their country to come home,” said Mike.