Capt. Roy Surita shakes his son Andrew's hand during the Marian University Nursing Pinning Ceremony
Capt. Roy Surita, Andrew Surita and Hillary Arnoldussen
FOND DU LAC, Wis. - Marian University's School of Nursing and Health Professions pinning ceremony is always a special event that commemorates the graduates on their success at Marian and celebrates their future in the health care field.
Along with pinning the more than 100 student nurses and sending them off to inspire the community, Friday's pinning ceremony was treated to a special surprise. Captain Roy Surita of the United States Army and father to Marian nursing graduate Andrew Surita, of Steilacoom, Washington, made a surprise appearance for his son's graduation weekend.
Originally unable to attend, Captain Surita received permission to take a furlough leave and was able to make arrangements to attend his son's graduation and present him with his School of Nursing and Health Professions pin. The Marian University School of Nursing and Health Professions and Hillary Arnoldussen, Andrew Surita's fiancé and fellow 2013 nursing graduate of Fond du Lac, were able to coordinate the evening and assist Captain Surita in surprising his son during the pinning ceremony.
Captain Surita has been deployed to the Middle East three times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq in 2006-2007, and twice to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2008-2009 and in 2012-2013. Captain Surita is a soon-to-be recipient of his third Bronze Star for exemplary actions supporting the global war on terrorism during combat operations.
"Over the last ten years or so, because of being deployed and other military training, I have not been able to spend quality time with Andrew," said Captain Surita. "Unfortunately, I've had to miss out on a lot. I am certainly proud of Andrew and his fellow graduates from Marian University and am glad to be part of this special time in his life."
Andrew Surita was caught completely by surprise, and those in attendance rose to their feet, many with tears in their eyes, as Captain Surita congratulated his son on his accomplishments. Captain Surita was able to attend his son's pinning ceremony and Saturday's graduation ceremony before returning to his military duties.