Student came to a 9-year-old cheerleader’s rescue during a heartbreaking moment when she was reminded of her father’s absence during the middle of a performance.
Addie Rodriguez was performing at Central Catholic High School’s football game, and their particular performance honored “Parents Day” for the girls.
Addie and her mother had missed the memo because her father Michael Locklear, a senior airman currently training at Travis Air Force Base, had left earlier for California earlier in the week. As a member of the military, he served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As Addie’s fellow cheerleaders were being lifted on their fathers’ shoulders, she stood on the field faced with the broken reality that her father was 1,700 miles away. She was reminded of how much she missed him.
Addie’s mother, Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, shared with News 4 San Antonio, “It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father.”
In that moment, as Addie stood there in tears, a high school student jumped over the fence and rushed to her side. That young man was Matthew Garcia, a senior at Central Catholic High School. He asked her if she was okay and said that Addie could sit on his shoulder.
Addie was all smiles on the football field when she sat on Matthew’s shoulders during the parent celebration. Matthew served as an emergency fill-in as Addie’s father and put her distressed emotions at ease. His compassionate and quick thinking made her day.
“I just felt like somebody saved my life. I thought that was so nice. Especially since my dad is serving for us,” said Maddie.