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Local family forced to miss son's graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy

The Academy moved its graduation up six weeks early because of COVID-19.  (Natalia Busuttil)
The Academy moved its graduation up six weeks early because of COVID-19. (Natalia Busuttil)(WJHG)
Published: Apr. 17, 2020 at 9:30 PM CDT
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People all over the world are missing milestones in their life because of the pandemic, and military families are no different.

"He was supposed to have been graduating in May, May 28. And it was supposed to be a whole week long. They were supposed to be in a parade," Natalia Busuttil said.

Nowadays, we seem to be hearing the words, "supposed to," more often than not. Natalia's brother, Christian is graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy Saturday.

Their family, including mom and dad, Claudia and Paul Busuttil, were all supposed to be there.

“It’s bittersweet because of course, he is graduating. Four years in the Air Force Academy is a huge accomplishment," Paul said. "But we’ve been waiting four years to be there for him.”

The Academy moved its graduation up six weeks early because of COVID-19. Now, Arnold High School graduate Christian Busuttil and his fellow cadets have to graduate without family and friends in attendance.

This is especially hard for the Busuttil family.

“The Air Force means so much to us as a family. We grew up overseas," Natalia said.

Paul was in the Air Force himself for 28 years, and Natalia's husband is active duty Air Force.

It was a milestone they were looking forward to celebrating and remembering for years to come.

"​I think the thing that hits me the most is the fact that we won’t be able to pin him on, because we were originally supposed to be putting on his pin in a part of this commission ceremony, and we won’t be able to do that," Natalia said.

However, the family is choosing to stay optimistic.

The Academy will be live streaming the ceremony online.

“We just tell him to enjoy every single moment he’s there, have fun with his friends, take lots of pictures for us. And we will be watching (Saturday) for his graduation," Claudia said.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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