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South Valley Riverton Journal

Graduate Gets Surprise Of Her Life

Aug 04, 2015 10:18AM ● By Bryan Scott

Graduate Gets Surprise Of Her Life

By Aimee L. Cook

South Valley - Madison Hughes knew it was a special day already. Not only was she practicing in her long-awaited high school graduation ceremony from Herriman High, but she was also waiting to be awarded what she was told was a new annual award, “The Most Charitable Student,” or so she thought. 

Madison and her parents were called onto the stage to accept the award and after a few words from the school administrator, a special video appeared behind Madison and her parents. 

The video was from Madison’s brother, PFC Nicholas Hughes, who had been stationed for a year in Germany with the United States Army. Seeing his familiar face and hearing his voice had the family in tears. 

“You’ve grown into a very, very beautiful young woman today and I know after graduation you’re going to be very successful,” PFC Hughes said in the video, before he actually walked out on stage. 

The entire Hughes family had no idea that Nicholas had returned; he had to lie to his family for the first time to pull it off. All the students and staff in the auditorium stood and clapped and cheered when PFC Hughes entered the stage. Madison ran to her brother, hugged him and cried while their parents stood in disbelief.

“We had no idea,” said Madison’s mother, Lisa Hughes. “We were kind of wondering what this was all about, if this award was just something everyone gets, but we didn’t have any idea it was for this.”

PFC Hughes felt it was important to be back stateside for his sister’s graduation. He could have spent more time in Germany sightseeing but knew his presence would be more appreciated at home. 

“My brothers and my sisters are really like my own children. They’re my world,” said PFC Hughes.

It was also the first time Nicholas got to meet his four-month-old little brother, Jacob.

“This is Jacob William Hughes,” said PFC Hughes, while holding the baby above his head. PFC Hughes and his family could not stop smiling.