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'Her heart is huge': Warren County military mom surprised with Super Bowl tickets


(Meggie Bierkan, Alexa Cool)
(Meggie Bierkan, Alexa Cool)
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WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (WKRC) - A military mom in Warren County recently got an incredible surprise. Her husband entered her in a contest from the NFL and USO to win the experience of a lifetime, and she won.

Amy Holbrook-Roddy had no idea what was about to happen as she and her husband walked onto a high school football field Friday. Her husband, Erik -- a Master Sergeant stationed at the Air National Guard base in Springfield -- did.

“It was like a month, nobody knew, even family didn’t know. It was pretty tough keeping it a secret," he said.

He has served for 23 years, including tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of their sons is also an Airman First Class. Erik entered Amy in the contest as a salute to her role in the family.

“I’m constantly gone with training, deployment," he said. "We’ve got six kids, all active in sports. She is constantly holding down the fort. So, it’s non-stop.”

Under the glow of Friday night lights, Erik’s surprise played out. Amy thought they were brought onto the field because one of their sons is on the team.

The announcer at the game then said, "It’s this sacrifice that often goes unnoticed, but not tonight. Tonight, we’ve got something special planned for Amy. Joining us live by phone is Bengals legend TJ Houshmandzadeh."

Houshmandzadeh's voice then came on the speakers. Amy was confused.

“I still couldn’t wrap my brain around what was happening. I was like, 'Oh my god, why am I getting a phone call from TJ Houshmandzadeh?'" she said.

The former Bengals player’s voice was again heard over the loudspeaker.

“As a token of our gratitude, the NFL, alongside the USO, would like to present to you two tickets to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas this February! Congratulations, and thank you, again," he said.

“Then, Cam, our daughter, brought out the tickets and I’m still like, 'What is this? Oh my gosh, this isn’t happening to us. This doesn’t happen,'" said Amy.

But it did happen, and Amy and Erik have the tickets at home to prove it.

They’ll be treated not just to two seats at the biggest event in American sports -- but also roundtrip airfare and a hotel stay.

“Hopefully the Bengals will be there," Amy said. "I will literally cry in my seat!"

Here’s what Erik submitted to the contest when he was asked to write four-to-five sentences describing Amy’s role as a military spouse, and why she should be chosen.

Amy is an incredible mom (stepmom) of six children. Her heart is huge, she donates what little free time to school and sports programs. Making sure that every kid’s experience is special, not just ours. Her selflessness is unwavering, when I’m gone on deployments or TDY and it feels like the weight of the world is all on her shoulders, she somehow finds ways to love and pour into the kids even more to make my absence easier on them. In true leader fashion, she eats last, she makes sure the family’s needs are met before she does anything for herself.


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