MASON CITY, Iowa – It’s not easy to leave your family but it’s expected for those going off to college.
It can be a hard time for those away and for the families left behind and for one young man serving his country by joining the air force and just finishing school, home was a place he never really got to see often.
Just recently, he decided to make this trip home one that many will remember.
“Well, my graduation got moved to an earlier date, so I had to change everything. So I was like, let’s make it worth it. Let’s surprise my girlfriend, lets surprise my sister, lets just surprise everybody,” said Connor Tlusty.
Tlusty just graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in Texas and will be working on F-16s as a technician. First stop post-graduation; surprising his sister in Cedar Falls, then to Mason City where his girlfriend works at Applebee’s.
“I was so excited all day. I was bouncing off the walls. I couldn’t keep still it’s been so long,” said Tlusty.
Tlusty walked through the front door of Applebee’s and right away spotted his girlfriend, Lyndi Best . Best rushed to his side, and cried tears of joy onto his chest. Tlusty just held her and smiled and uttered the words “I missed you.”
“I never thought he could pull something off like that, so I’m pretty happy,” said Best.
Then of course, there are some very proud parents involved. Tlusty graduated with top honors. He also received the ACE award which meant he had to have a 100 percent average during his time at school. While Best was surprised to see him at Applebee’s, she isn’t surprised by his academic success.
“I’m really proud of him. I’m not shocked, because it’s just how he always is. He’s always the top of everything, so not shocked, but really proud,” said Best.
Tlusty is home until Fourth of July. Next stop will be in South Carolina.