Few things compare to the moment Chief Master Sergeant of the Alaska Air National Guard Joyce Davis was promoted to her prestigious rank, but on Friday, she came close to experiencing that feeling.
Joyce, originally from Providence, R.I., flew back east from Alaska to see her team take on the Houston Texans, and as she looked around the Patriots ProShop, she was surprised with a visit from Robert Kraft. He greeted her with a hug, a pass for The Hall presented by Raytheon, an upgraded ticket and a pregame field pass.
Still in shock minutes later, Joyce said the same kind of feeling washed over her.
"I waited a whole career. That's your goal, then you almost can't believe it and then it's here. My Chief Promotion Ceremony I felt just like this, just totally humbled," Joyce said. "I think when people have the opportunity to do something kind, they really will. This is amazing."
Since landing in Foxborough the day before, Joyce said she was surrounded by nothing but kindness and friendly faces. It had been more than 20 years since she's returned to New England, and she came to the game on her own, leaving her husband and son behind, so she explored Patriot Place and got a good look at Gillette Stadium.
"I used to go to the old stadium, and I remember watching Doug Flutie play here with the Patriots. That's what I remembered, and then driving in, my jaw started to drop. It's nice to know I can still be surprised," she said. "I came in here and I heard 1 Patriot Place is pretty nice, and last night I just walked around to 10 p.m. by myself just overwhelmed."
But rather than remain ovwhelmed, Joyce was already prepared to pay it forward.
"This makes me want to do something nice for somebody," Joyce said.