After missing his sister's high school graduation, a soldier was determined to be there to watch her graduate from college.
Central Michigan University graduate LaDyra Lyte, 23, was walking to the stage on Saturday when, much to her surprise, the school president began to read a message from her 22-year-old brother, according to Good Morning America.
"Oh, God," she said with a big smile on her face — a moment captured in a video the school shared on social media.
At the time, she believed her brother, LaDaryl Lyte — who had been deployed for close to a year with the U.S. Army Reserve — would not be able to be there for her big day, per GMA. Little did she know, he was actually just a few feet away.
Central Michigan University LaDyra Lyte and brother LaDaryl Lyte
Listening to the message from her brother, LaDyra became visibly emotional.
"I want you to tell my sister how proud I am, how gracious she is, how superlative she is, and I know that she is going to do amazing things in her life," the message read. "She is one in a million with a special talent of knowing just how to move forward."
At that point, the camera panned away from the graduate to reveal her brother walking up behind her.
"And the letter goes on and on and on, so let me do this, LaDyra, talk to him about it," the school president remarked, as the crowd began cheering and clapping.
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As soon as LaDyra turned around to see her brother standing there, the pair gave each other a big hug.
Afterward it was her brother's turn to be surprised: their father came up behind LaDaryl to embrace him, even lifting his grown son off the ground in the process.
Central Michigan University LaDyra Lyte and brother LaDaryl Lyte with their father
LaDaryl told GMA it was extra important for him to be there for his sister since he had to leave for basic training before her high school graduation.
As soon as he knew he could make this trip, LaDaryl reached out to the school to see if there were any tickets left, per the television program. Then, the school suggested that he make a grand entrance during the ceremony, which not even all the members of his family knew about.
"They had me show up to the graduation two hours early so they could hide me upstairs so my family wouldn't see me," he said. "The night before I couldn't even sleep because I was nervous."
Describing the initial surprise, LaDaryl told GMA pretty much everything "was kind of a blur" after the whole crowd started "screaming and clapping."
"For a moment I thought I'm dreaming," added LaDyra, whose degree is in fashion merchandising and design.
Although it was a lot to take in, her brother's surprise is a moment she'll remember for the rest of her life.
"I just felt, just really overwhelmed," she remarked, "in a good way."