A simple act of kindness by a San Antonio, Texas high school senior turned a young cheerleader’s heartbreaking moment into all smiles when he stepped in for her military father during a school performance.
9-year-old Addie Rodriguez was cheering on her school’s football team on what happened to be “Parents’ Day.” The cheerleading team had two special performances during the game. One was with their mothers, and the other with their fathers.
Addie’s mother, Alexis Perry, was there to perform with her daughter, but her father was not. Abel Rodriguez is a senior airman in the United States Air Force. He was away at training and had to miss the game.
“The moms did a cheer with their daughters, and I was there, so I smiled with her and took a picture and hugged her,” Perry told ABC News, “When I saw the dads lining up I said, ‘Oh my gosh. What am I going to do?'”
That is when Matthew Garcia stepped in. Garcia was at the game for the opposing team watching his young brother Ronald play when he saw Addie crying. Without hesitation, he jumped into action.
“I ran down the bleachers and hopped down near the fence,” Garcia says. “I asked, ‘Do you mind if I pick you up?’ She said, ‘Yes.’ I turned and saw the crowd clapping.”
The moment brought Addie’s mom to tears. “Seeing her smile after the way she was crying, that probably made my day even more than hers, to be honest with you.”
Perry made sure to snap a picture of her daughter with Garcia and shared it to her Facebook page. Addie and her parents plan to thank Garcia for his kind gesture by supporting him at one of his cross-country meets.