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Military Dad Gives His Son "The Best Graduation Gift," Leaving Everyone In Tears

Greg Derr/The Patriot Ledger

For seniors in high school, graduation day is a taste of sweet success. After four years of hard work, students can hold up their diploma with pride before they move onto the next chapter of their life, whether it be post-secondary education or entering the work force.

While most graduates celebrate their special day with their parents, there are circumstances where it's not always possible, such as when their military mother or father are deployed to the other side of the globe.

One student who accepted this situation was Tyler Solomon, who didn't expect his father, Damon Solomon, to make an appearance on his special day.

But he was wrong.

When Tyler walked onto Marshfield High School's football field in Massachusetts to receive his diploma, his principle, Robert Keuther, had a special surprise waiting for him.

Keuther said: "Please join us in recognizing U.S. Army Sgt. Damon Solomon, who was granted special leave this weekend from his fifth deployment in Kosovo to celebrate Tyler's graduation."

The pair received a standing ovation as they embraced after being apart for nearly six months.

Damon, who had been in the army for 18 years, said he had been planning the surprise for about a month, which went better than expected.

"We're only allowed a certain time of leave and only a certain amount of people are allowed to leave at a time," the father-of-six said. "I pitched this idea to my commander and first sergeant and they loved the idea."

"The expression on his face was amazing. The shock, the emotion, the tears," he added. "I said to him, 'Do you honestly think that I was going to miss this? There was no way I was going to miss this.'"

Although the surprise was captured on video, the father and son didn't expect it to go viral, but they're glad it did.

"Other families have been going through this with significant others overseas," Damon said, adding that he hopes others will "understand it's for the greater good, understand it hurts but there are moments, moments like these."

And as for Tyler, he'll be sure to treasure this moment forever.

"I was really surprised, shocked and awe," Tyler told ABC News. "It was the best graduation gift I could ever get."

Check out the moving moment unfold for yourself.

For more touching tales about military families, check out these heartening stories:

[H/T: People, CBS News]

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