Debra Cooper was likely excited enough for her graduation day. Little did she know, graduating would not be the only thing to celebrate.
According to WSB-TV Atlanta, Cooper, who served in the U.S. Army, graduated with a Master of Occupational Therapy degree from Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia earlier this month.
Her 28-year-old daughter, Staff Sgt. Markita James, a soldier serving in Afghanistan, did not want to miss the occasion.
"Getting this degree is a huge accomplishment for her," James said according to the Daily Mail. "She's been through a lot. She's a single mother of two, but she is so strong. I'm so proud of her."
Cooper wasn't expecting her daughter to be present for her graduation. So when President Ed Schrader of Brenau University announced his appreciation for Brenau's veterans and singled out Cooper, she apparently had no idea it was all a setup.
Schrader acknowledged Cooper's daughter during his speech, saying, "She's [Cooper] a perfect example of this ongoing educational opportunity because her daughter Staff Sgt. Markita James is active duty in Afghanistan right now."
Then came the surprise.
"Actually, she's not in active duty in Afghanistan right now because Staff Sgt. James has just returned from Afghanistan to be with her mother."
Cooper turned around to find her daughter with roses. Their embrace says it all.
"I'm still trying to catch my breath,"Cooper said in an interview with Gainesville Times. "I had no idea my daughter was coming. No idea. It's a miracle. I just thank God."
(H/T: Daily Mail)