Deployed father makes back to Tuscaloosa in time for daughter’s graduation

Local News

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — A Hillcrest High School senior got the surprise of a lifetime just in time for graduation.

Dozens of people were emotional during a reunion between Elli Garcia and her father, Major Jason Garcia, at Taylorville Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa. Major Garcia has been deployed oversees with the Army National Guard and has not been home in eight months. His daughter, Elli, said seeing her father overwhelmed her with emotion.

“I’m just very in shock,” Eli said. “I mean, walking out here, I was just thinking I was going to church. And then to have my awesome community and friends being out her supporting me and my Dad coming home, I’m just overjoyed.”

Eli’s father will get to see her walk across the stage as she graduates Thursday night. She will be attending Mississippi State University in the fall.

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