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Facebook post inspires sweet surprise for cadet

Stationed overseas, Amy Hayes knew she couldn't make it to her son's graduation. She made a simple request and received quite the result.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — We've seen the power of social media time and time again, and this story is no exception. A cadet graduated from Basic Camp at Fort Knox Monday, but his mom is stationed overseas in Germany. Amy Hayes knew she couldn't make it to the ceremony for her son, Cadet William Higgins, but she came up with quite the alternative thanks to Facebook.

Credit: WHAS11

She made a simple request to a military support group to see if anybody could go to her son's graduation in her absence. Veteran's Club saw the post and took it from there.

"When we heard about that, several of us wanted to come down here and show that he is part of a family here and show our support. We wanted to let him know that his mother is proud of him,” Veteran’s Club member Karl Truman said. "We call each other brothers and sisters for that reason, to be here to support each other whether it's in time of need and time of joy like this."

Several members surprised Cadet Higgins Sunday during the family day. They spent time with him on the base and even took him to lunch, giving him his first experience ever eating Qdoba! They also made sure he got to a spot with WIFI, and he was able to call his mom and talk for about an hour. Monday, another crew of strangers turned supporters showed up at his graduation ceremony to cheer him on. The crew told WHAS11 they saw the post on Facebook, had family in the military, and felt called to come support Cadet Higgins. Several drove down from Louisville, and made some pretty impressive posters to make sure he could see them in the crowd.

"It made me really happy that so many people showed up for this. The Army is a very close knit family, and no matter if you're active or retired, you still help each other out,” Cadet Higgins said. "This was a really great surprise. I love everyone coming out. I'd like to thank the Kentucky Veteran's Club for organizing this event and give my mom a special hello."

Cadet Higgins is going to New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico. He said he'll get to see his mom in person in a few weeks when she helps move him into school. He hopes to become an officer in the Army.

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