MINNEAPOLIS - There was action on the field, but anticipation in suite 102.
"I'm pretty nervous," said Staff Sgt. Mathew Helget. "Nobody knows about this."
Helget, a member of the Minnesota National Guard, cheered on the Vikings as they took on the Raiders Sunday, but then in the 3rd quarter the game took a backseat.
Helget's wife and daughter were under the assumption they wouldn't see him until later in the year, but thanks to the Vikings organization and the Minnesota National Guard a surprise reunion was in the works.
"She's gonna be surprised," said Helget. "I bet she's gonna be crying."
In the second half, Jaime and 8-year old Maddison stepped foot onto the field and, along with 50,000 witnesses, watched a video greeting on the JumboTron from Helget. Thinking their husband and dad was still in Kuwait, out walked Matt.
It was one of the loudest moments of the afternoon.
"It's the best feeling in the world," said Helget. "I was nervous the whole time...I'll never forget this."
The three of them embraced for several minutes on the field. It was their first time together in six months.
"This will be the best Thanksgiving we'll ever have."
The reunion reminding those in attendance of the sacrifice made by thousands of families.
"Everyone's taken by surprise," said Beth Domeier, Matt's mother-in-law. "We're so glad he's back safe. This is all pretty emotional."
Sunday was Military Appreciation Day at the Dome, a chance for the team to recognize veterans and servicemen and women from all branches of the military.