MIAMI, Florida (CNN) – A Miami graduating senior received a huge surprise at her commencement.
Her father, Sergeant Jose Garcia, made it home from his tour overseas to be there when she received her diploma from Miami Killian Senior High.
The last time the two saw each other was when Samantha was a freshman.
“It’s hard, you know, always having an absent parent, but you just got to stay strong,” Samantha said. “I know he’s there, just not physically there.”
Sergeant Garcia has served numerous deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan and has only been able to return home twice over the last eight years.
He’s now stationed in Georgia.