FORT PAYNE, Ala.— On Sept. 4, Nicko Ortiz was given one of the best surprises he could ever ask for. Ortiz is a football player for the Fort Payne Wildcats. During the pep rally on Friday, Ortiz was called down from the stands to the middle of the gym floor. When he turned around, his brother was standing behind him.
His brother, Cody Yarborough, had been gone for 5 months for schooling for the National Guard. “I was away doing BCT and AIT, which is schooling for my MOS. now I’m MOSQ and my job now in the military is a military police officer,” Yarborough said. “Since I am in the National Guard, I am here to stay. I hope to get a job in law enforcement. I also want to go back to school.”
“I knew he was supposed to be home Friday night, but I wasn’t expecting him to be at the pep rally,” Ortiz said. “I had a friend of my moms help set up the surprise. She informed Coach Ellis and Coach Ellis informed everybody else on the football team to make it happen for me and my little brother,” Yarborough said. The brother’s homecoming was blasted onto social media over the weekend. “The reaction to me coming home has been awesome. I’m glad to be back and it seems like everybody else is just as happy to have me back. It feels good!”
Yarborough had been gone for 5 months and it wasn’t easy for him. “The hardest thing about those 5 months being gone was being away from my little boy! When I left he just turned one year old, but he and I both plan on picking back up where we left off!” Yarborough said. The absence wasn’t easy for Ortiz, either. “The best part was seeing not just my brother but knowing my best friend was back home.”