An East Texas nursing student received the surprise of a lifetime at her graduation ceremony Friday morning.
Krystle Bounds walked across the stage in front of family and friends as she participated in the University of Texas at Tyler's Nursing Pinning Ceremony. However, one very special person was missing from the audience.
Krystle's brother, PFC Shawn Bounds, has spent the last year and half serving in Alaska and Afghanistan. His schedule did not have him returning home until December 20, days after Krystle's graduation ceremony.
Krystle stepped on stage as Dr. Pam Martin, Assistant Dean and Director of Nursing Programs, called her name.
"Krystle Bounds is being pinned by her sister, Danielle Bounds, Krystle is going to be looking for a job somewhere in South Texas," Dr. Martin said.
The audience applauded as Krystle was pinned by her sister.
"We have a very special surprise for Krystle," Dr. Martin said.
At that moment, Krystle's brother, PFC Shawn Bounds came on stage with a bouquet of yellow roses.
Immediately, Krystle gasped as she reached to hug her brother who she had not seen in 11 months.
The audience members' eyes filled with tears as they stood in ovation.
"We have, for a couple of weeks now, been keeping this a secret from everyone," Dr. Martin said after the ceremony.
She worked carefully and secretly with the Bounds family to surprise Krystle with her brother's homecoming.
"We snuck him into the building early this morning without her seeing him and put him behind the stage," Martin explained.
Krystle did not think having her brother home on this special occasion was even an option.
"He was the one person missing that I wanted here, so it made it a perfect day." Krystle said with a big smile on her face as she sat next to her brother.
She said it was the best graduation and Christmas present she could ever imagine.
"It went very smoothly, no glitches. She knew nothing about it. She was so surprised," Dr. Martin said with a bright smile.
Krystle and Shawn's sister, Danielle, helped put this big surprise together.
"It was one of the most awesome moments of my life; it was fantastic," Danielle said.
"It was awesome," PFC Shawn Bounds said. He said he will never forget the look on his sister's face when he greeted her on stage.
"It was one of the best moments of my life for sure," Krystle said with a smile.
PFC Shawn Bounds said he will spend the holidays with his family before returning back to Alaska in January.
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