Even “The Rock” couldn’t keep his emotions in check when surprising an unsuspecting Army combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient with a special gift.
Dwayne Johnson cooked up quite the surprise for U.S. veteran Marlene Rodriguez, who was being honoured with Ford’s Go Further Award. Describing her time in service, Rodriguez highlighted the tremendous toll the army took on her: “I wanted to stay in, but I don’t think it was going to happen because I suffered severe traumatic brain injury.”
Determined to put a smile on the veteran’s face, “The Rock” put his plan into action. Rodriguez, a big-time Rocky fan, was blown away when the People’s Champion snuck onstage to present her with the award.
Johnson also surprised Rodriguez, along with a guest of her choosing, to accompany the WWE-wrestler-turned-actor to the world premiere of his new film “Baywatch” — but that wasn’t all. The actor presented the veteran with a new set of wheels: a 2018 Ford Mustang.
The surprise took an emotional turn, as the modest war veteran insisted she wasn’t deserving of such kindness: “I don’t deserve all this… My soldier does. He gave his life, you know?” Her honesty struck a chord with “The Rock,” whose stone-cold demeanour was replaced with teary eyes.
Rodriguez left with movie premiere tickets, a new car and the respect of those in the room, but Johnson may be the person most impacted by the encounter: “I will never forget this moment for the rest of my life,” he told cameras after the surprise.
We can’t wait to see Rodriguez hit the red carpet with Johnaon at the premiere of the all-new “Baywatch”, before it hits movie theatres on May 26.