This afternoon at SeaWorld Orlando’s Shamu Stadium, a heartwarming reunion took place right before the start of the One Ocean show. After a year of active duty in Afghanistan, Army Specialist Eric Espinosa reunited with his four-year-old daughter, Alexis.
As a frequent visitor to SeaWorld Orlando, today was not the first time Alexis had seen the Shamu show. However, today was the first time Alexis watched the show with her father. In fact, today would mark the first time Alexis had seen Specialist Espinosa in a year.
After recently serving in Afghanistan as an Army combat engineer who was responsible for finding, defusing or activating improvised explosive devices, Specialist Espinosa was quite anxious to surprise his daughter, who had no idea he returned yesterday.
As usual, the show kicked off with a tribute all active and retired servicemen and women in the audience. Alexis was amazed to see her face appear on the giant ShamuVision screens as the announcer said there was a special surprise for a young girl in the audience today. She was then even more surprised to see her father appear behind her on the screen.
Slightly confused, Alexis looked around to find her father standing right behind her and instantly ran to greet and hug him. Not a dry eye was left the stadium.
SeaWorld is a proud partner of the Here’s to the Heroes program and are honored to salute the men and women of our armed forces and their families. Throughout 2012, members of the military and as many as three direct dependents are invited to experience SeaWorld, Busch Gardens or Sesame Place parks with a single-day complimentary admission. More information on this program can be found here.