She thought it was just a fun trivia game. Sarah Jones, product manager, and her U.S. Bank colleagues were at the Minnesota Twins game on a warm July evening at Target Field in Minneapolis. The group was attending the game together as members of the Proud to Serve Business Resource Group, a network of U.S. Bank employees focused on celebrating and honoring veterans, military service members and military families. Turns out Sarah had won the trivia game and behind the curtain was her prize.
“I was so excited to see her reaction,” said Dustin Jones, a risk manager at U.S. Bank and Sarah’s husband, who was behind the curtain having returned home from a year-long deployment in Kuwait as part of the United States Army. “It was so surreal. I had to remind myself that I was finally back home. I just wanted to hold her in my arms again to let her know that I’m finally back.”
The Jones also have a two-year-old daughter, Haley, who was part of the surprise.
“I was excited and nervous to see Haley,” said Dustin. “It was so much fun watching her grow and develop over FaceTime and having conversations with her. When I saw her for the first time, I couldn’t believe how much she had grown.”
While Dustin was away serving, he was supported not only by friends and family but also by his employer.
“I am so grateful for what U.S. Bank has done for both me and my family while I have been away,” he said. “They gave me two iPads with a data plan so that I could have the chance to stay in communication with my family through my entire deployment. My coworkers also got together and sent me packages in the mail and gave Sarah some gift cards. I was not expecting that.”
The Twins game surprise was hard to keep secret.
“Keeping this a secret was tough, especially since I work with Sarah on multiple projects at U.S. Bank,” said Jennifer Burow, diversity, equity and inclusion segment manager at U.S. Bank. “We also had some last-minute hiccups, but Dustin arrived home just in time. Getting to see them reunite was a moment I won’t forget and I’m thankful Dustin wanted U.S. Bank to be part of it.”
“It was so much fun to see my crazy idea of surprising Sarah at the Twins game come to life,” Dustin added. “I cannot thank U.S. Bank and the Twins enough for making this one of the best memories my family will ever have.”
Written by Susan Beatty of U.S. Bank. Learn more about how the company supports employees in the military, veterans and their family members at proudtoserve.usbank.com.