Tyler Solomon walked up to his graduation stage like the rest of the 336 fellow students to receive a diploma.
But he got so much more.
While handed the scrolled document, Marshfield High School Principal Robert Keuther shook Tyler's hand and then stalled him.
"Hold one sec," the principal can be seen in a video telling Tyler.
In the foreground appeared a sight that lit up Tyler's eyes.
U.S. Army Sgt. Damon Solomon, on leave serving his fifth deployment to Eastern Europe, was on the football field heading towards his son.
The crowd rose and applauded as Tyler and his dad met in a tender embrace.
Solomon has been serving as a helicopter crew chief in Kosovo since January.
In an interview with ABC News, the father and son both recapped what it was like to reunite.
Damon Solomon told his son, the eldest of his six children, that he wouldn't have missed the special day for anything in the world.
"I said to him, 'Do you honestly think that I was going to miss this? There was no way I was going to miss this,'" the father described telling his son when they hugged.
Tyler was also thrown off by the secret mission his dad accomplished.
"I was really surprised, shocked and awe," the boy said. "It was the best graduation gift I could ever get."
ABC News' Kathleen Hendry and Mina Jaki contributed to this report.