Mom surprises daughter at high school football game after deployment

Published: Oct. 13, 2023 at 10:03 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2023 at 11:18 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Whether high school football teams are celebrating a victory or planning to watch film after a loss, at least one game had something that both teams and their fans could get behind.

An emotional moment as Savannah High took on Metter under the Friday Night Lights.

Alayna Duke has spent many hours practicing for this moment - her time on the field with the Savannah High’s Blue Jacket Band...

“I have really enjoyed it so far!”

Each Friday night Alayna suits up, grabs her trumpet, and stands in formation… It’s something that you could say runs in the family.

When asked, “is your mom here so that I can interview her about your time in the band?”

Alayna said, “oh, she’s actually overseas in the desert.”

…or so she thought.

“I am here to surprise my daughter, Alyana Duker, who is in the band and has absolutely no idea that I am here,” said Alicia Stewart.

Operation Surprise Alyana has officially begun and it could be Chief Master Sergeant Stewart’s toughest mission.

“I was trying to keep the entire deployment the same so we were still calling and texting as if I was still there.”

Alicia Stewart has been deployed with the United States Air Force for the past six months In Qatar which caused her to Miss Alayna’s eighth grade graduation and the first day of Freshman year.

“But, I promised her I would make it up to her.”

And boy did she...

As half-time came around Alyana stood at attention, trumpet in hand, and prepared for her performance… not knowing that only feet away was her hero, her bestie, her mom.


And suddenly, six months of waiting, simply melted away.

“I love you.”

Alicia says her next moves are taking a much-needed vacation and spending as much time as she can with her daughter.