STILLWATER, Minn. -- It took a month of planning and a lot of secret emails, but a Minnesota soldier gave new meaning to the term "special operation" Wednesday.
Jake Green knew he wanted to join the military since he was 9 years old. But that didn't make it easy last fall to leave Minnesota.
"It's a long time. It's the longest I've even been away from my family, it was hard," said Green.
The deployment was difficult for the 20-year-old. It was also hard for his brother Nick, a high school junior and the second baseman for Cretin Derham Hall's baseball team. The Greens are lifelong Twins and Gophers fans who bonded over baseball in their own front yard stadium growing up.
"We would always have competitions in the yard, who could run faster. I would always try to pitch to him and try to strike him out. He would always try to hit homeruns off of me," Green said.
So after 8 months overseas, Jake's first stop on his first day home was Nick's high school baseball game. With their parents in the stands and their grandpa looking on, Nick took his spot behind home plate, and caught the first pitch from the special guest he thought was a world away.
"I don't know, I was speechless. I didn't know what was going on. I definitely didn't expect it," Nick said.
His dad, Jim Green, was excited too. "It's been a long time coming, we're happy to have him home. Couldn't be more proud of him."
Nick was the lead batter in Wednesday's game and, with his brother watching, hit a double at his first at bat.
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