Father and Son Reunion: Clemson Family Homecoming Story

As Christmas approaches, our thoughts naturally drift to family and time spent with those we value most in our lives. I wanted to highlight and acknowledge those that won’t be present for their family holiday gatherings.

Active military, at home or in far off lands, those in law enforcement and healthcare among the many. Their absence will be represented by an empty chair around the table. So, let’s take a moment and look back at one special family’s reunion moment between, and involving members of our own Clemson Family.

It is widely known by all who have visited, there is indeed something very special in these hill that surrounds Clemson. One of the most special of things that makes Clemson unique is clearly family. Back in 2018 this was one of those family reunions that highlights this point perfectly.

A very few know the name Ty Lucas but he is one of Clemson’s own, an unsung Tiger hero that just graduated last week. I’m always amazed at those that dedicate themselves, without much, if any, fanfare or hoped realizations of greatness.

Their one job? To make his team better. That takes a special kind of commitment. Seeing him honored at the team’s first bowl practice as a graduate, I remembered the time, in 2018 that Ty and his father, Captain Cody Lucas were reunited, thanks to Clemson.

Before this reunion, I could only think of a few instances when a player in uniform would shed tears. Maybe after an emotionally spent moment in victory or defeat or, God forbid, after an injury. However, seeing what Clemson did for one of it’s players over a weekend in 2018, I’ve added one more instance to that list. A reunion of father and son.

At the time a freshman running back, Lucas’ father was a signal advisor with the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade with the US Army. Captain Lucas had served in the US Army for ten years, including two tours overseas in Korea, and in 2018, at the time of this reunion, he had been stationed in Afghanistan.

Lucas hadn’t seen his father in over nine months, but one late November Saturday, on Military Appreciation Day, Clemson had organized a special surprise to reunite Cpt. Lucas with his son as the team was coming back into the locker room after the game.

It was a beautiful thing to watch unfold. Young Lucas seems so locked in, he almost walks right by his dad but the hearts of a father and his son always seems to find each other. It was emotional to watch. It was a near perfect moment in every way. I’ve included a clip of this reunion and I hope it brings you as much joy as it did me. It really puts everything in proper perspective. Job well done Captain Lucas and job well done Clemson.

While not technically a Christmas story, it embodies the real, true spirit of Christmas, a real Homecoming. We are all aware, it’s been a challenging year for the Clemson family but one, I suspect, will come to represent the rebirth of the greatness we’ve all known. Putting sports aside, I’d like to wish each of you and those you hold dear, a very happy holiday season.

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