Portland, OR—When 19 year-old Portland Community College student Sprax Sprewell agreed to help a local soldier surprise his family upon his return from Iraq last month, he thought he was setting the stage for a good grade from his ethics teacher as well as doing something nice for the soldier’s family. But when the excitement of the moment overcame Staff Sgt. James Travis, he blew the surprise and rushed to greet his wife, newborn son and three year-old, “shooting all to hell” the planning and hard work Sprewell had put into the ruse.
“I was like, ‘Dude,’” said Sprewell. “’You’ve waited eleven months to see your wife and your kids, you can’t hold off for like, five more minutes? Really? Really?’ He needs to chill out, just slow your roll, guy!”
Sprewell had spent what he estimated to be “like 45-50 hours” of his own time over the course of the fall semester making calls and planning the reunion, as well as “easily over a hundred bucks” setting up the homecoming surprise involving Travis dressed up like Santa Claus at a local mall. But no sooner had Travis seen his wife Denise, daughter Danielle and son David (whom he’d never met before, as he was born when Travis was overseas), did he completely forget about surprising his family and rushed over to them, drawing not only a round of applause from the other families in line, but the wrath of the sociology major as well.
“He better pray that I don’t get anything worse than a ‘B’ for this, or he’ll wish he never met me,” said Sprewell. The lawsuit is seeking $500,000.00 in damages from the Travis family for mental anguish, pain and suffering and reimbursement for the rented Santa suit, which Travis’ baby spit up on.
“Dude’s got a lot of nerve,” Sprewell said. “Messing up my project. And he ruined my Christmas, too! Jackass.” Sprewell’s father’s law firm is representing him in the suit.
Travis could not be reached for comment. Sources have said he will be leaving Oregon again for a fifth tour of duty with his unit at the end of January.