Military father gives son surprise of a lifetime at Goose Creek graduation

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) -- An unexpected guest at Goose Creek High School's graduation ceremony Friday made the moment that much bigger for one senior.

Nicolas Schott spoke on stage about the important of honoring military members like his own father, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jamie Schott. Staff Sgt. Schott has served five tours of duty overseas, four in Iraq and one in Kuwait.

"He's never seen me wrestle in person. That was a big thing for me because I'm the captain. He's never seen me play football. It's fine because of the fact it's the thing he does," Nicolas Schott said.

Nicolas Schott thought his father was still in Kuwait until he walked out on stage during the speech.

"I had no idea. They kept it so much a secret from me. I was just so nervous about my speech, I didn't even think about it. It's just like one of those things you see on Facebook in the videos [where] everyone's crying. It was like that. I'm just so glad," Nicolas Schott said.

Staff Sgt. Schott said he had originally requested leave for the ceremony, but was denied.

"That was hard just to tell him," he said.

But then, when he found out he would be able to go, he decided not to tell his son. He returned from Kuwait to a base in Kentucky on May 4 but didn't get back to the Lowcountry until Thursday night.

Since early May, Jamie Schott said he had all his location services on his phone turned off so he wouldn't accidentally spoil the surprise. Staff Sgt. Schott said he planned the surprise with Goose Creek High School and Nicolas's stepmother.

"I'm speechless about it. I had no idea. It is important to have both your parents here. With him being here, that concludes that I have both my parents here and it's an amazing feeling," Nicolas Schott said.

The father and son said their first stop after the graduation would be to eat at Cook-Out.

Staff Sgt. Schott said he would be visiting through Tuesday.