A Georgia high school student got the surprise of her life when she received her diploma at her graduation ceremony on Thursday. She was shocked when her father, an Army Reserve sergeant who had been overseas for eight months, appeared on stage.
Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Dedrick Clark secretly returned to the U.S. from Kuwait on Thursday, keeping it from his daughter, Dia Clark, so he could surprise her at Lovejoy High School's commencement ceremony at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
"She has no idea, I talked to her today…and she has no idea. She thinks I'm still over in Kuwait," the father told WAGA-TV before the ceremony.
Army officials, school administrators and Dia's mother were all in on the secret plot.
The proud father appeared on stage and stunned his little girl as the crowd clapped and cheered emphatically.
The tear-jerking moment was caught on tape. Watch below via WAGA-TV:
"I am so mad at him," Dia joked afterwards. "I just talked to him earlier and my sister was just crying because he couldn't make it and he's here."
She said her father has been her inspiration throughout high school. "Dia graduated with honors and is the recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship, one of only 1,000 nationwide," the report adds. She plans to attend the University of Georgia on a full scholarship.
"He's one of the main people I wanted here. He's my biggest fan, my biggest supporter through everything and I'm so glad he made it," Dia said of her father.
Unfortunately, Sgt. Clark just has a week before he has to return to Kuwait. Until then, he plans to spend as much time with his family as humanly possible.