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Soldier's surprise at mom's graduation

May 19, 2009 5:06:16 AM PDT
A mom's graduation day turned into a joyous family reunion. Joyce Brand from Denver, Colorado, graduated from Metro State on Sunday. As she joined her fellow graduates on stage, word of a surprise came over the PA system.

"Joyce Brand's diploma will be presented by her son, Specialist Jeremy Albert, United States Army, who recently returned to the United States after sustaining an injury in Iraq," a school official announced.

Joyce smiled, laughed and wept as she hugged her son.

"For a minute I didn't even know it was him. I was like, wait a minute. That didn't seem like where he was supposed to be or something," she said.

Jeremy was injured when his armored vehicle was bombed by an improvised explosive device. He is on leave and flew into town for his mother's graduation, but wanted it to be a surprise.

Jeremy says the surprise may have gone a little too well.

"I almost felt like she didn't know it was me, like she was just going to keep walking or something," he said.

Regardless, it was the perfect graduation gift.

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