JACKSON - A high school graduate in Jackson is celebrating more than her diploma after receiving a special congratulations from her big brother - who is just home from serving in Afghanistan.
Nicole Milko got the surprise of a lifetime Tuesday afternoon. Her big brother, Pfc. Travis Milko greeted his sister right before the procession.
"We were all in auditorium and they called me up for a lost-and-found item, and I saw my brother running down the aisle and he gave me a hug and I started crying hard," Nicole says.
The graduates chanted USA in support of Travis, who graduated in 2012.
Nicole and Travis's dad, William Milko, arranged the reunion when he found out that Travis would be home just in time for graduation. "He's missed," he says. "And she's missed him not being around."
The siblings hadn't seen each other in almost a year, making this reunion equally important to both brother and sister. "It feels outstanding," Travis says.
Travis also surprised his Mom in the stands of the stadium, just before graduation.
Pfc. Milko plans to be back in Jackson in a few weeks and eventually go to college. Nicole will be a freshman at Ocean County College in the fall.