MIAMI (WSVN) - It was a night full of surprises for a South Florida veteran whose longtime wish to see Barbra Streisand perform live became a reality at the American Airlines Arena, Monday.
One of Sergio Lopez’s top three favorite Streisand songs is “Guilty,” but the U.S. Army vet had absolutely nothing to be guilty of, thanks to a contest on radio station Easy 93.1. He won two tickets to see the legend in person.
To Lopez, a former sergeant with the 101st Airborne, the icon’s music always feels like coming home. “When I was overseas and whenever I was feeling down or depressed or what have you, I’d listen to that music, and it gave me that feeling of home, you know?” he said. “That feeling of family, of unit, and that’s why I love that music so much, and that’s why I love Barbra so much.”
To enjoy the special occasion to the fullest, Lopez said, he needed to have his loved ones by his side. “I had to bring the whole family with me,” he said shortly after the performance ended. “Just to be here at the concert with Barbra, it had to be everybody.”
Before the second song in Streisand’s set list, a large screen on the AAA stage played a portion of the story about Lopez that aired on 7News, Friday. The news package showed Easy 93.1 morning host Giselle Andres knocking on the front door of his Southwest Miami-Dade home and surprising him with the tickets.
The clip got Lopez and his mother, Nora Lopez, a standing ovation from the audience at the Downtown Miami venue.
Streisand then mentioned Lopez. “Right down in the front row,” she said. “Welcome, Sergio Lopez.”
It was an overwhelming moment for Lopez, who was wounded in 2006 when an improvised explosive device exploded while he was on tour in Iraq. Lopez said Streisand’s melodies helped him and his Army buddies cope on the battlefield.
Lopez’s wife said she’s grateful for the moment. “We want to thank the team that gave us this opportunity to all be together and share this moment with him,” said Kenia Moreno.
And how does his mother feel? “Really proud,” said Nora. “We are really happy, because I know that it’s something that means a lot for him.”
If Lopez had to rank this bucket-list moment in his lifetime, he said it’s very close to the top. “Obviously, the day I was married and the birth of my children. This is right up there with the top three,” he said. “I’m that excited.”
Lopez added that Streisand’s songs now remind him of the time he served his country, and those are memories he will always cherish as well.
A production crew recorded Streisand’s concert, and it is expected to be made available to stream on Netflix sometime soon.
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