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Graduations are already an extremely emotional time, but a Georgia high school senior experienced double the water works when a surprise guest appeared at her ceremony to present her with her diploma: her father, an Army Reserve sergeant who traveled from Kuwait to be there for his daughter’s special day.

Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Dedrick Clark had been away from his family for eight months before coordinating this surprise return for his daughter, Dia’s, big day with his wife and the school principal, reports. Just as Dia was crossing the stage during the ceremony in the Georgia Dome, the announcer broke the surprise over the loud speaker saying, “here to congratulate Dia, just returned active duty from Kuwait, is her father.” Dia immediately buckled to her knees and began shedding a few tears as her father made his way to the podium. The new grad told Fox Atlanta of her dad:

“He’s my biggest fan, my biggest supporter through everything and I’m so glad he made it.”

While Sgt. Dedrick Clark will return to Kuwait in one week, Dia will be attending the University of Georgia this fall on a full scholarship. Her father said once his latest tour is over he plans to return to the United States more permanently so that he won’t have to travel nearly as far when she gets her next diploma.

Such a cute story! Congratulations Dia! Check out video of the surprise below.

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