High school graduation is one of those signature moments in your life when having family around makes all the difference in the world. For one Grand Forks graduate, a surprise visit from her deployed father on graduation day took the day from bittersweet to quite possibly one of the best days of her life.

Taylor Crafton was set to graduate from Central High School in Grand Forks on Sunday, May 25, but one thing was missing from her big day - her father. Chris Crafton is an active member of the United States Air Force and had been deployed to Cuba for the last several months. Since Taylor was 3 months old, Chris has been through nine different deployments, causing him to miss out on some of life's most precious moments. To take some of the sting away of missing this latest one, a family friend had a cardboard cutout of Chris made so he could be at graduation in spirit.

But to the surprise of everyone, Taylor's father greeted her right before she was set to walk across the stage, causing the crowd to erupt into cheers as father and daughter shared a hug that was a lifetime in the making.

Not only was this a surprise for Taylor, it was a shock for his wife and son also. The family will be able to spend a few days together before Chris makes his way back to Cuba later this week.

[WDAZ]