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Stranger’s kindness makes for an unforgettable trip for Fargo teen’s birthday

A Fargo teen was surprised with tickets for his birthday to the Army versus Navy football game at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey yesterday.
Gabriel
Gabriel(kvly)
Published: Dec. 12, 2021 at 10:23 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The snow caused a bit of trouble with travel for some people. A Fargo teen was surprised with tickets for his birthday to the Army versus Navy football game at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey yesterday. But the snow caused delays, and he was afraid he wasn’t going to make it to the game.

Trisha and Eric Issendorf told their son Gabriel he’d be going to the Army versus Navy football game, the day before they left, as a 16th, golden birthday gift. Trisha says Gabriel has been a military, as well as a football fan, for as long as she can remember.

“It has been his dream. His lifelong, 16-year old dream,” says Trisha.

But, the winter weather was becoming a problem.

“It started to snow really hard. Our flights just got canceled, and canceled, and canceled,” says soon-to-be 16-year old Gabriel.

At one point, he and his dad thought they were going to miss the entire game. At the last minute, they were let on the plane. They would still miss part of the game though.

“I was more upset than anything. This year has been really crazy already,” says Gabriel.

So, his mom back home wanted to do something to help.

“This was a big opportunity for him, and he was potentially going to miss it,” says Trisha.

She called MetLife Stadium, and to her surprise...

“He said don’t worry we got this. I didn’t know what that meant but hoped something would happen,” says Trisha.

“I see these ladies just waving and I looked to see who they’re waving to. I thought they were the family of someone. My dad pointed and told me to go over there,” says Gabriel.

Merchandise was sold out at the game, but the staff saved some just for Gabriel.

“That was crazy. I wasn’t smiling, I mean I was smiling, but I was just overwhelmed with joy,” says Gabriel.

Gabriel got to meet high-ranking officers, players, and coaches.

He was also given a coveted battalion from a 3-Star General of the Army Special Operations.

“I like the military. I like football. I want to be in the military when I graduate,” says Gabriel.

As his mom said, operation birthday was a mission accomplished.

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