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Military mom surprises son at graduation with hugs, tears

One high school graduating senior in Alabama got more than a diploma when he walked on the stage.
/ Source: TODAY

Steven Turner Jr. knew he was getting a diploma when he walked on the stage at Bryant High School's ceremony over the weekend.

But he got something even better once he arrived: A surprise visit from his mother, Petty Officer 2nd Class Vera Turner — who had just returned from a nine-month deployment at Guantanamo Bay.

Vera had planned the surprise one month ago and didn't even let her husband in on the reveal, wrote Melissa Brown at She did speak with Tuscaloosa City Schools staffers to lend a hand, however, and they set up the graduate so that he would be at the end of the line and the reunion would not interfere with other students' big moments.

Vera, a 16-year Navy veteran, hid in the tunnels under Coleman Coliseum during the ceremony, then was brought out as Steven took the stage.

"I was bursting, overjoyed with feeling," she said about anticipating the bit event. "This is a moment I'd been waiting for."

Steven has a scholarship for Alabama's A&M this fall, and plans to major in electrical engineering with a minor in musical performance.

He could take a few lessons from mom when it comes to stage presence.

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