Mother deployed overseas surprises son at West Georgia graduation, leading to heartfelt reunion

When he walked across the stage to accept his diploma, a University of West Georgia student received more than just his degree. In a heartwarming twist, his mother, who is currently deployed in Southern Europe, made a surprise appearance.

Malik Heard successfully achieved his goal.

As a recent college graduate, he eagerly awaited his turn to receive his diploma at the University of West Georgia. The moment arrived on a sunny Saturday, as he stood on stage, ready to shake hands and accept his hard-earned degree. Amidst the cheers and applause, his focus shifted when he heard one word from the announcer’s voice.

“I was listening to what he was saying, but then my attention was caught by the mention of Kosovo. When I heard him mention Kosovo, I immediately knew that’s where she was deployed. I was taken aback and thought to myself, hold on,” Heard said.

As he recounted the heart-stopping moment, he shared, “I turned my gaze to the right once more, only to witness her appearing from around the corner. In that instant, my heart sank.”

Sgt. Eva Roby, Heard’s mother, is a dedicated member of the National Guard. Despite serving a tour in Kosovo, she was determined not to miss the heartwarming reunion with her son. Months in advance, she began strategizing and making plans to ensure she could be there for this emotional moment.

Roby mentioned that the timing of his leave coincided with a period of high demand due to numerous graduations. As a result, there was a chance that his request for leave would not be granted.

After gaining approval, she promptly contacted the University of West Georgia.

Roby expressed her excitement when she reached out to them, saying, “As soon as I contacted them, they were all for it. They were thrilled.”

She has always prioritized being there for her children.

“I’m the kind of mom who doesn’t miss out on much,” Roby explained.

Their reunion has become an internet sensation.

Roby expressed her observation of a young adult or young male who approached her in a childlike manner, highlighting the inherent need for parental guidance and support regardless of age or perceived maturity. She emphasized the significance of parental figures in their lives, acknowledging that even as they grow older, they still rely on their parents in some capacity.

Heard currently works as a special education teacher, focusing on elementary students.

Roby will be home for only one more week before she heads back to Kosovo until the following year.

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MBS Staff
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