Video: Firefighter gets ultimate Father’s Day surprise
He became a surrogate dad to the children of his best friend and fellow firefighter who died Sept. 11; he was surprised and thanked by star players of the New York Jets
NEW YORK — A New York City firefighter who became a surrogate dad to the children of his best friend and fellow firefighter who died on Sept. 11 was today recognized for his selflessness by the star players of his most beloved sports team, the New York Jets.
“From one dad to another, I want to wish you an early Happy Father’s Day,” former New York Jets superstar Joe Namath said to Lt. Larry Mack in a taped message that aired during a live surprise event today on “Good Morning America.” Mack was surprised at his firehouse this morning with an ultimate tailgate party that featured New York Jets’ cheerleaders, former Jets wide receiver Wayne Chrebet, his own two children and the six children of his late friend, Lt. Vinnie Halloran.
“I’m just blown away,” Mack said on “GMA,” which threw the tailgate party to kickoff its “Big Daddy of All Surprises” week to honor outstanding fathers. After Halloran died, Lt. Mack stepped in to help his friend’s family, who lived near his own in Putnam County, New York. He took the Halloran children camping with his own family, spent time with them on weekends and shared with them the love he and their father shared for the Jets, whose home games they attended together often.