LUMBERTON, N.C. – Turning 13: it’s one of those very special birthdays that ushers in the teenage years.
However, that special birthday was overshadowed by Hurricane Matthew for a girl in Lumberton, N.C.
That is until a group of caring soldiers helping with flood relief efforts stepped in to help make it a memorable day for the teen.
National Guard Staff Sergeant Francisco Hernandez and his team were patrolling the neighborhood where Madison Scott and her family live when they met her.
"The little girl happened to say, you know, the worst thing about today is that it's my thirteenth birthday," he said. "Instantly, all four of us said there's no way, that a girl entering her teens should have to spend her birthday."
The group went forward with the mission of making the young girl's big day as special as they could.
"We lit the candles and all four of us stood out in the street and sang happy birthday," Sgt. Hernandez said.
Madison said she was surprised to see the guardsmen again and to see they cared so much.
"[It made me] happy and made me feel special, too," she said.
Madison's mom told her they would celebrate her birthday when things got back to normal. But thanks to the generosity of these guardsmen, her little girl didn't have to wait.
"It's definitely something I wouldn't have expected," mother Irene Scott said. "I mean, you can't - you can't actually put into words - you know, what I'm saying - how it makes you feel. I'm kind of at a loss of words."
Despite Hurricane Matthew the teen had a very special birthday. One she'll remember for a lifetime - now, for all the right reasons.