LAWRENCE — Three New England Patriots team captains helped a local soldier celebrate his homecoming Saturday night.
Quarterback Tom Brady, linebacker Jerod Mayo and defensive lineman Vince Wilfork couldn't make the surprise party at the Claddagh Pub for U.S. Army Capt. Nassar G. Jabour Jr., 27, of Methuen.
But the three NFL football stars sent personal "thank you" messages on a special video prepared by the Patriots that was viewed on two television sets.
It was the highlight of the evening for more than 60 relatives and friends who showed up at the downtown pub to wish Jabour well as he begins his civilian life after the military service.
"Capt. Jabour, welcome home. Thank you for all of your service. We appreciate it," Brady said in the video, prompting loud applause and cheers
Jabour, who is described by family and friends as "a diehard Patriots fan," reacted with both shock and childlike joy after watching three of his favorite team's best players express their gratitude for his service.
"Ah, man, that was awesome," Jabour said, as Kool & The Gang's "Celebration" blared from a speaker.
"Never in a million years could I have expected that. I expected the party, but I couldn't ask for anything more," he said.
"My parents are awesome! They are so great. And now I got that (the video) for the rest of my life," he said.
Jabour was most thrilled about getting a message from Wilfork, "my favorite player of all times." He recalled wearing his No. 75 Wilfork football jersey during every Patriots football game he watched on TV in Afghanistan last fall,
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The video was accompanied by an autographed photo of Brady and a cover letter from Pats spokesman Stacey James mentioning the enclosed DVD "has three of our captains extending thanks to your captain."