Deployed Military Chaplain Surprises Graduating Daughter at Commencement

Grace Brethren military chaplain Major Billy Graham (U.S.Army) surprised his daughter, Katie, Saturday morning during her graduation from Grace College. He has been deployed in Afghanistan for the last nine months. Fort Wayne, Ind., television station, WANE, caught the story on tape, which appears below. Click here to view the video report.

Local graduate gets big surprise walking across stage

Winona Lake, Ind. (WANE) – Saturday morning a graduate at Grace Seminary College got a big surprise walking across the stage.

Katie Graham had her diploma in hand, her professor had just turned her tassel, and then, she looked across the stage and froze.

A man was running towards her with outstretched arms. The man was her father who she hadn’t seen in nine months.

” I was like, no way, no way, and then lots of oh my gosh, oh my gosh. I think I said it like six times,” Katie said.

Chaplain Billy Graham had just come back from a nine month deployment in Afghanistan.

“I really didn’t think I’d be able to make it home because my deployment was supposed to go for several more weeks,” Chaplain Graham said.

However, with the help of his commander, he was able to come home early. When he found out the good news, he began his plan of surprising his daughter for her graduation.

His family helped him keep his homecoming a surprise, and Grace College helped the ceremony reveal go smoothly. Chaplain Graham said he even pretended to Skype his daughter Friday night to make her believe he was still overseas.

The dad and daughter both agree the surprise made the special occasion even more memorable.

“Oh yeah, priceless, there we go,” Katie said.

Katie also said the surprise was also sentimental because her father is also a Grace graduate.

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