Soldier surprises sister by showing up at her high school graduation

(NBC) - A soldier who has been serving in Kosovo for almost a year made a surprise trip home to see her little sister graduate from high school in Georgia.

Army Specialist Daphne Gilmore arrived halfway through the ceremony and hid behind the stage, waiting to hear her sister's name called.

"I was so surprised, when I was first walking out, I was kind of out of it," said Chelsey Gilmore. "And then I snapped back and said, 'Oh my gosh, that's my sister!'"

Chelsey said she never expected her sister would make it to her graduation in a million years.

"When I found out she wasn't going to make it, I cried. And I couldn't. I got through it somehow, but I kind of thought something was up," she said.

But Daphne said she didn't want to miss the biggest day of her little sister's life – and Chelsey's reaction made it worth it.

"She did lock me in a bear hug. She wouldn't let me go. She honestly was truly surprised because, you know, she couldn't see me, but when she came around, I guess it was just the surprise of her life," she said.