Someone is cutting onions!
A soldier came back from deployment to surprise his big sister at her graduation, People reports.
23-year-old LaDyra Lyte was preparing to walk across the stage and graduate from Central Michigan University when the school president surprised her by reading a message from her 22-year-old brother, LaDaryl Lyte, who had been deployed for nearly a year with the U.S. Army Reserve.
“Oh, God,” LaDyra said with a smile as the emotions of the moment began to take over.
While she wished her brother was there in person, this wasn’t the first time he missed a milestone, LaDaryl also missing her high school graduation because he had to leave for basic training the week prior. The more the president read, the more emotional LaDyra became.
“I want you to tell my sister how proud I am, how gracious she is, how superlative she is, and I know that she is going to do amazing things in her life. She is one in a million with a special talent of knowing just how to move forward,” the letter read.
The entire moment was caught on camera, the video panning away from LaDyra mid-read to show LaDaryl walking down the aisle to meet her.
“And the letter goes on and on and on, so let me do this, LaDyra, talk to him about it,” said Central Michigan’s president.
The crowd erupted into cheers as LaDyra collapsed into an embrace with her brother. As the two hugged, their father popped up behind them, equally surprised as he wrapped his son into a bear hug, lifting him off the ground in the process.
LaDaryl later explained to reporters that planning the extra special moment was quite hectic. He knew he wanted to make sure he was there, reaching out to the school covertly to see if there were any extra tickets left. They then suggested he make a special entrance during the ceremony, many of his family members not even knowing about the surprise.
“They had me show up to the graduation two hours early so they could hide me upstairs so my family wouldn’t see me. The night before I couldn’t even sleep because I was nervous…[everything] was kind of a blur [ after the crowd began] screaming and clapping,” said LaDaryl.
LaDyra said she too was overcome by the moment, going from focusing only on getting her degree in fashion merchandising and design to the surprise of a lifetime that she said she’ll never forget.
“For a moment I thought I’m dreaming…I just felt, just really overwhelmed. In a good way,” said LaDyra.
We're not crying, you're crying. Congratulations, LaDyra!
Photo Courtesy of Central Michigan University