ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (CBS) — Jake Garza is short on words, but not on confidence. At 5 years old, he had a big surprise just two weeks ago.
Born with cerebral palsy, one-word mumbles were normal for Jake. That is, until he recited the entire Pledge of Allegiance for his dad, who knows how powerful each word can be.
“I was full of — I was just so proud,” said Eric Garza, who serves as a marine science technician first-class in the United States Coast Guard. “The same emotion I’m displaying now is exactly how I felt.”
“It melts my heart,” said Cheryl Cunningham, Jake’s school aide. “Just because I’m so proud of what he’s accomplished and because of dad being in the military … and my son just went into boot camp myself. So, it’s huge.”
Huge, because it’s rare. But for a dad who has an American flag tattooed on his arm, having a recording of Jake’s pledge to watch on demand beats any other way of hearing it.
“Can I say hell yeah?” said Eric. “I mean, yes, as a dad, I mean it’s — I mean, he’s my son.”