It was Steven Turner Jr.’s turn to hear his name, walk across the stage and accept his high school diploma.
When he didn’t hear his name, he thought there had been a mistake.
But when he saw his mom suddenly appear across from him, none of it mattered.
Steven’s mother, Petty Officer 2nd class Vera Turner, surprised her son by showing up to his graduation despite her deployment in Guantanamo Bay. The Navy mom and high school graduate shared a hug onstage to thunderous applause and plenty of tears.
Watch the inspirational moment from graduation below:
“It means so much to me, it means the whole world,” Steven told ABC 33/40’s Melanie Yuill. “I thought she wasn’t going to make it.”
Steven’s mother fooled everyone, including family members. She set up the surprise in secret with the school district.
“All he could say was, ‘Thank you, thank you mama, thank you,'” she said of her son’s reaction.
Turner is now home for good and can share plenty of hugs and tears with her recently graduated son.