Homecoming Surprise for a Waterloo Eighth Grader - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Homecoming Surprise for a Waterloo Eighth Grader

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A young Iowan has an unexpected guest for a special ceremony. The George Washington Carver Academy student graduating eighth grade today, but he's also reunited with someone he hasn't seen in months.   

James Hatton lined up to get his diploma Tuesday afternoon. He walked down the line and shook his teacher's hands, wanting to get the walk over with. Little did he know, his sister was waiting for him.

"His facial expression was just priceless and then he started crying so then I lost it so I started crying too," said Rosa Avila, U.S. Navy Second class Petty Officer.

You can see the happiness on both their faces, a reunion that was long overdue. It's been seven months since they've seen each other. Rosa serves in the United States Navy, currently working in Virginia Beach. After the months apart she says she wanted to surprise her brother and this may be the last time she sees him for a couple of years.

"I'm going to Italy for two years, so the gap might be a little bigger, but I'll definitely keep in touch," said Avila.

James says he is sad that his sister is in the military because of the distance, but he is so proud of her.

"It's kind of hard because I am kind of used to seeing  my sister daily but now there's a three month, 6 month, to a year gap between that and it took some getting used to, but I did it," said Jame Hatton, eight grader.

Rosa says she got home yesterday, but was hiding out at her aunt's house to keep her arrival a surprise. She gets to spend the week with her family and James, then head back to her base in Virginia Beach.

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