Etown 5th grader gets surprise of a lifetime during graduation

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by Brooke Hasch

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 4, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 4 at 6:05 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- An Elizabethtown fifth grader got the surprise of a lifetime Wednesday morning during her graduation.

Grace Reyes was ready for her fifth grade graduation at Heartland Elementary School, but when it came time for her to receive her certificate of completion, her teachers did not have one for her.

Someone else was holding Grace's diploma.

School officials told the audience "we have a special person that would prefer to give Grace her certificate of completion today. Can that person please come forward?"

It was an emotional moment as Grace's father, Maj. Julian Reyes, came out with her certificate in hand.

Julian has spent two years overseas, serving in Afghanistan and Korea, and has not seen his daughter in nearly a year.

Grace said it is hard to be without her dad while she is going through school and she is already planning a bicycle ride with her dad and a night out at the movies.

Julian will return to Afghanistan for a third tour at the end of the year.

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