Starting quarterback Eric Dungey will hope to guide Syracuse to a win in the team’s season opener against Colgate Friday night, but he received an even bigger win prior to the game when his older brother Matt Dungey, an enlisted infantryman in the U.S. Army, surprised Eric outside of the Carrier Dome just hours before kickoff.
“He's one of the most patriotic people I know,” Eric told Syracuse.com in an interview back in mid-August. “I'm so proud of him. He's the real hero of the family.”
The two hadn’t seen each other since the holiday season in 2014, according to Syracuse.com. Matt spent a year in college before deciding to enlist in the Army. He has been serving for nearly three years and is stationed out of Vilseck, Germany.
Matt said the two brothers have kept in constant communication while he has been overseas. However, he said it still hurts knowing he has missed the majority of Eric’s college football career and missed him dearly.
“I miss him every day, man,” Matt told Syracuse.com in a Facebook message. “I miss my parents, my sister, my dog. I miss Oregon and the States in general.
“I will never be able to put into words as to how proud I am of him. I always tell him, but he will always respond with something like, 'No, Matt, we're all proud of you.'“
Eric described the moment as “surreal” when speaking with reporters following Syracuse’s 33-7 win over Colgate.
“It was awesome,” Eric said. “I was locked in, got off the bus, saw my brother. I hadn’t seen him in years, so that was really cool – overwhelming, surreal to be honest. And then I had to lock back in and get ready for this game.”