Deployed dad delivers surprise message to Countryside grad - WFLA News Channel 8

Deployed dad delivers surprise message to Countryside grad

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By Chip Osowski

Chelsea Jusino knew her dad wouldn't be in Clearwater this morning to watch her graduate. She knew he wanted to be there but just couldn't.

Edgar Jusino is in the Army National Guard serving a tour in Kuwait. But what happened at this morning's ceremony was anything but expected.

Edgar Jusino appeared before the entire Countryside High graduating class on the Jumbotron at Bright House Field, to deliver a very personal message to his daughter.

"Chelsea, I know due to certain circumstances, I have not always been there for you and that I have missed many important dates in your life," the elder Jusino said. "I want you to know that I will always be there for you in your most hardest, most difficult, most lonely times. I will be there to pick you up when you fall. Wipe your knees and hands. Clean your feet. Wipe your tears. Give you a shoulder to cry. Give you a hug, with a kiss."

Carl Zimmerman, who runs the school's video department, says Edgar Jusino contacted the school when he found out he would be deployed during his daughter's graduation. So Zimmerman videotaped the message back in December. He kept it a secret for nearly a half a year.

Chelsea Jusino says the message was a surprise, to say the least.

"I haven't seen my dad in so long," Jusino said, as she wiped tears from her cheek. "He's like a big part of my life, actually. And when he left it was just really hard because he was the one person I would go to talk to about everything. So when he wasn't there, it was just hard."

Edgar Jusino ended the message by telling Chelsea that he is proud of her, and loves her.

Following that, an Army National Guard chaplain delivered flowers to Chelsea and then gave her a hug.

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