DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — A South Florida high school graduate got an unexpected gift when she was called back up on stage during the ceremony and then joined by her soldier father, whom she hadn’t seen in 10 years.
The audience in the auditorium erupted into applause Sunday afternoon as U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Anthony Tillman and Kayla Tillman hugged in front of more than 500 of her fellow St. Thomas Aquinas High School graduates.
Assistant Principal Margie Scott says Tillman is a tank commander stationed in Korea and hadn’t seen Kayla for 10 years, communicating with her via Facetime.
She says the reunion was a surprise for school officials too. Tillman showed up Sunday, asking to surprise the teen. They quickly set a plan into motion.
For now, Kayla and her younger sister Lena, a freshman, are spending time with their dad.