A U.S. airman flew more than 7,000 miles to make it to his sister’s high school graduation, surprising his sibling after telling her he couldn’t make it on time.
Airman First Class Derrek Maggart heartbreakingly broke the news to his little sister, Miranda, that he wouldn’t be able to attend her graduation from Miami East High School since he is stationed in South Korea and wouldn’t arrive until two days later.
Yet, though Miranda didn’t know it, Derrek was right on schedule the entire time. In footage from PEOPLE’s new video series, The Upbeat, in association with Citi, Derrek unexpectedly appears on stage during Miranda’s graduation ceremony to lead the audience through the Pledge of Allegiance. Miranda clasps her hands over her face when she recognizes her brother, and rushes on stage to jump into his open arms. As they embrace, the crowd bursts into applause as Principal Todd Gentis tells them Derrek had planned the adorable surprise weeks ago.