48th Brigade serviceman surprises Albany grad - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

48th Brigade serviceman surprises Albany grad

December 10, 2005

Albany-- At special moments in life, we all want to have special people with us to experience them. Saturday, an Albany State graduate  had the moment, but was missing the man. Her husband is in Iraq with the 48th Brigade but he found a way to join her on her special day from all the way overseas.

As the Albany State Concert Chorale sings songs of Alleluia, hundreds of graduates of the class of 2005 praise the day they finally get that well-earned degree. "It's been an honor to graduate from Albany State and become an alumni. It's been a long time coming," says graduate Kawana Martin-McLeoud.

For graduate Kawana McLeoud, graduation day is bittersweet. Her husband is missing from the hundreds in the crowd. "I wish he could be here to share this moment with me," says McLeoud.

To her surprise, her husband found a special way to meet her outside after the ceremony. Since he's overseas with the 48th Brigade, he's only as close as the phone will allow but some red roses came straight from his heart.

"I'm very proud of my husband even though he's not here to share this moment with me but he just made it possible for me to be here and be able to do this," says McLeoud. Kawana says it's been a long, hard road juggling school and family while dealing with him being away from home. "Between being a Mom and a Dad, it's been hard," says McLeoud.

Sgt. David McLeoud knows how hard it's been so by congratulating her with a surprise, he's here in his own special way. "Yes he is. He's always doing this. He's very unique about the stuff he does. That's what makes me love him so much," says McLeoud.

He didn't just end the surprise with a phone call and some roses. A long stretch limousine was also waiting to take her away and hopefully closer to him. "I'm so surprised. I almost got a headache. I'm about to start crying," says McLeoud, "It's been difficult to explain to my son that his Dad is over there doing a job but it's for us."

On her special day, he's still reaching out from thousands of miles away.

Besides flowers and a limo, Sergeant McLeoud also treated Kawana to a spa treatment at the Mint Julep Day Spa.

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