NewsPositively Hampton Roads


Soldier surprises his sister at Alabama high school graduation rehearsal

Posted at 10:02 PM, May 23, 2019

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -  High school seniors across the Tennessee Valley are preparing to get their diplomas this week, and one student who was missing her airman brother got a heartwarming graduation surprise that was caught on video.

Huntsville High School seniors gathered at the Von Braun Center Thursday to rehearse their walk across the stage for graduation. Senior Brittany O'Keefe hasn't seen her brother in over a year, and that morning he gave her a graduation gift she'll never forget.

Devancy Jefferson is in the Air Force, currently living in Japan, and wanted to surprise his sister for graduation.

"Homecoming is always the best part," Jefferson said. "Always something to look forward to ... family, friends."

Related: Video shows teen called to principal's office – where military dad surprises him

Brittany had no idea her brother, his wife, and his daughter were waiting to surprise her. Her name was called onstage, and he revealed himself as she exited the stage.

This is also the first time Brittany has met her niece.

"I haven't seen him in a year and I thought he was going to miss my graduation," O'Keefe said. "And that's the last thing that I wanted."

"I think it was a success," Jefferson said. "This couldn't be done without all these people right here. Took a lot of work."

It's more than coincidence that Brittany was wearing a shirt that says "I'm proud to be an Air Force sister."

Senior Airman Jefferson is a 2016 grad of Huntsville high and has been stationed in Japan for two years. He has two weeks to spend at home with friends and family, then he'll go back for one more year.