After ten years overseas, soldier surprises daughter at South Florida graduation

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A South Florida high school senior got the surprise of a lifetime on graduation day over the weekend.

After all graduating seniors in navy gowns crossed the stage, Kayla Tillman, a St. Thomas Aquinas High School senior in Fort Lauderdale, got called back up under the pretense of being a “graduate of distinction.”

It was at then that school leaders thanked her and her family “for the sacrifices you have made to protect our freedom,” as an echoing applause filled the Nova Southeastern University auditorium in Davie.

“All the way from Korea, please welcome U.S. Staff Sergeant, Anthony Tillman!” said the speaker.

That’s when the teen’s father, a tank commander in the US Army, who has been deployed for ten years, stepped onto the stage.

The emotional moment of the father and daughter— who have only seen each other via Facetime in the last decade— was captured on video.


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