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Earlier this month, a college student graduating from Brenau University got the surprise of a lifetime during her 2015 commencement. Debra Cooper from Winder, Georgia, who was about to receive a diploma for a Master of Occupational Therapy degree, who is a military veteran, had no idea the surprise that was about to happen.

The school’s president spoke about Cooper’s military service, and also noted that her daughter, Staff Sgt. Markita James of Dublin, Georgia, was in Afghanistan, and then the surprise happened.

“Actually Sgt. James is not in Afghanistan,” he said. “She is here so that she could be with her mother at graduation.”

James had stealthily positioned herself in the audience behind the graduating class, but when Schrader said the words “not in Afghanistan,” mom Cooper got the hint and began frantically looking around. The run-hug-squeal-cry mother and daughter re-union became an instant “YouTube” moment.

“She’s my she-ro,” James later said about her mother.

Take a look at the touching video below:

Photo Credit: Brenau University

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