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Deployed Dad Surprises Daughter At Graduation

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Grand Forks, ND- It was an unforgettable high school graduation for one North Dakota teen after her military father made a surprise visit to her ceremony.

On Sunday, Taylor Crafton graduated from Grand Forks Central High School.

All her family members were in attendance, except her father, a member of the Air Force.

A few months ago, Chris Crafton was deployed to Cuba.

As Taylor went on stage to receive her diploma, there was a special guest waiting for her on stage, her dad.

Turns out, no one in the family knew about the surprise visit.

“I don't think I really realized that he wasn't going to be here until he called me, because it was the same number that he's been calling me from the past five months," said Taylor. “I'm just so happy he's here. Better than a car. Better than anything. So yeah that's all I wanted for graduation."

Taylor's dad, Chris, says over the years he missed out on a lot of family time.

"For a total of about 1700 and 82 days to be exact, over the years she's missed a lot. I've missed a lot. You know, birthdays, Christmas that kind of thing. I just tried my best to get here for when she graduated. This is my last deployment, so I had to make it happen," he said.
"This is a once in a lifetime thing I have to do for her. I'm just glad it happened."

Chris Crafton will be returning to Cuba later this week.

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