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CHESTERFIELD, Mo. - For kids, wrapping up the school year and looking forward to summer is exciting enough, but one student had a special reason to celebrate, during her end of year ceremony.

Lengthy absences from family are one of the toughest parts about military service. As tough as it is to say goodbye, it's many times sweeter for military families to re-unite, and that was the case for the Stebbin family Wednesday, when a fifth grader was brought to tears by her best bud, her dad.

Staff Sgt. Tom Stebbin, is a Missouri National Guardsman. After a year in Afghanistan, Away from his wife and four daughters, Sgt. Stebbin missed the high school graduation of his daughter, Megan, Saturday at Parkway West.

But he was able to surprise his daughter, Claire, at a fifth grade assembly at Mason Ridge Elementary in Chesterfield.

"I was so excited that I didn't know what to do. Sorry. That's okay. So I just kind of jumped off the stage and ran to his arms," said Claire.

"I call her my bb, my best bud. And she's ready for the BBB, which is the Best Bud Breakfast that we always have every Saturday morning," said Sgt. Stebbin.

Wednesday night Sgt. Stebbin will attend the eighth grade graduation ceremonies of his daughter, Emily. Then a family surfing vacation in California.

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