Soldier returns home to watch his son graduate

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 10:38 PM CDT
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CALHOUN COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - What started out as dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate an upcoming graduation quickly became an emotional reunion.

“I knew something was up, something had to be up,” Royce Bailey said.

Sergeant Trent Bailey has been deployed and unable to see his family for the last seven months. However, he said, he had to make it home for his son’s graduation.

“I’ve got to see my son walk across the stage and everything, it’s a big moment for him, you know,” Sergeant Bailey said.

When the Bailey family met at Fiddler’s Restaurant to celebrate, a surprise was waiting for them.

“Oh, I was very excited to see him, very happy to get to see him after a long time,” Royce said.

“It felt great, I hadn’t seen my son or daughter or stepchildren or my sisters or anybody,” Sergeant Bailey said.

Even though the reunion will be short-lived, as Sergeant Bailey has to leave again in just a few days, he said the chance to watch his son graduate was well worth the trip.

As for Royce, he said his dad being in the stands on his graduation day means the world to him.

“I’m going to be very happy, very proud that he’s here, definitely seeing me walk across the stage tomorrow,” Royce said.

Sergeant Bailey said he’s going to make his presence known at the ceremony, in celebration of his son.

“I’m going to be very excited,” Sergeant Bailey said. “I’m going to stand up and holler for him, definitely.”

So all graduation celebrations for the next few days will be that much sweeter.

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