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Father who has been deployed since July surprises daughter at UNLV graduation

Father who has been deployed since July surprises daughter at UNLV graduation
Posted at 11:23 PM, May 12, 2023

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — On Friday night, a military father who has been deployed in the Middle East since July surprised his daughter at her UNLV graduation.

“I got an email that said ‘I have a daughter that’s going to be graduating in May and I'm overseas and I wanted to know if there was a way that I could surprise her,’” said Valarie Burke, assistant dean for graduate student services at UNLV.

After months of planning, as students prepared to walk across the stage, excitement was building for a secret operation going on behind the scenes.

Douglas Hernandez traveled more than 30 hours from where he’s stationed to watch his daughter, Pamela, walk across the stage.

“My heart sank. A lot of nerves, I mean, I was shaking. I couldn't believe it,” Pamela said.

For Pamela, having a father in the military means sometimes missing out on birthdays, holidays, and other special events together which is why the reunion was so meaningful.

“I'm just happy to be here. I'm happy to have my dad here and I'm happy to start a new chapter in life,” Pamela said.