4th grader’s mom pulls off a surprise homecoming

RIVERSIDE, Ohio (WDTN) – A special surprise for a local fourth grader Wednesday.

What was already a celebration at school turned into an even bigger one when his mom, who was deployed overseas, showed up to surprise him.

It all began as an annual 4th grade graduation ceremony at Beverly Gardens Elementary in Riverside.

There was something special in the air, especially for one of the graduates.

“If I could get Shawn Dozier to help me with this first award, please.”

4th grader Shawn was to get the surprise of his life. “I’d like to welcome Sgt. Crystal Dozier.”

Deployed more than seven times and now stationed in Italy, Crystal Dozier, Shawn’s mom, sneaked in town to surprise her son.

“She said might not make it, but she made it,” said Shawn.

Not only did Sgt. Dozier see her little boy formally move on to fifth grade, but he also picked up a high achieving academic award along the way.

“I told him not to knock me over when he hugged me,” said Sgt. Dozier.

Shawn pulled off a trifecta. He had a top academic award, he graduated to fifth grade and his mom came home from Italy.

Shawn and his mom say it is tough not to see each other for a year at a time, but the grand thing is this year?

Shawn will spend his third summer in Italy with his mom.

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