TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBMA) – Graduation season is in full swing across the country.
While students and their families are celebrating the end of high school, one Alabama family has something even more special to celebrate.
Paul W. Bryant High School’s commencement ceremony was like any other graduation.
One by one, names were called and students walked across the stage to get their diploma.
Before Steven Turner Jr. was set to walk, there was a pause.
On stage, there was more than just his diploma waiting for him.
His mother, Petty Officer Second Class Vera Turner was there.
She has been deployed in Guantanamo Bay for the last nine months.
She kept her trip home a secret from her family and planned the surprise with the school district.
To keep the surprise a secret, she told her family that she couldn’t come home in time for the graduation.
“It means so much to me. It means the whole world. I thought she wasn’t going to make it,” Steven Turner said.
She turned out to be the best graduation gift he could have received.
“All he could say was, ‘Thank you, mama. Thank you, I love you,” Turner said.