A Marine stationed in Norway traveled around the globe to surprise his father in South Carolina on his birthday.
The two reunited in an emotional moment at Friday's celebration for Perry Clanton, an assistant volunteer fire chief, in Lancaster, South Carolina. Family and friends gathered for the occasion at the Buford Fire and Rescue building.
Clanton thought he was doing an interview with WSOCTV, but instead, his son, Cpl. Matthew Clanton walked into the room.
“I’m so proud of him, to have him home,” Perry Clanton said. “No one told me anyone would be here. (It) truly is a gift.”
Perry Clanton was also honored for his work in the community with diabetes. His father-in-law died from complications of diabetes a few years ago, and Clanton was diagnosed with diabetes in 2015. He lost more than 100 pounds to get healthy and urged others to do the same.
“He's always been there for me,” Matthew Clanton said. “If this is one thing I can do for him, to be here for him, he’s one of my big heroes that I look up to.”
Matthew Clanton gave his father a plaque, with a proclamation calling the day “Perry Clanton Day."
“When you finally reach that moment, get diabetes managed, you want to share that,” Perry Clanton said.