Hawaii soldier attends son's graduation from Afghanistan

Hawaii soldier attends son's graduation from Afghanistan

KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Kailua dad deployed to Afghanistan didn't let the distance stop him from seeing his son graduate from high school.

The Hawaii National Guard set-up a live streaming video feed allowing Chris Bretz to watch the commencement ceremony at Trinity Christian School on May 31.

His son Philip is a national merit scholar finalist and it was actually Trinity Christian's first graduating class. Six years ago the school's board decided to expand offering a curriculum through grade twelve.

Chris Bretz was on the board at that time and seeing tonight's graduation was a dream come true.

"Chris Bretz was instrumental in turning Trinity Christian School, expanding it to classical Christian education as well as a secondary school.  It's a great opportunity for him to join us from Afghanistan.  The National Guard has been instrumental in allowing that to happen.  It's a great opportunity to see his son -- the first valedictorian of this graduating class," said Trinity Christian Principal, Bryan Wolf.

Hawaii National Guard's Lt. Col. Courtney Vares-Lum adds, "Just to make that connection for the dad and his son especially because Philip is valedictorian.  It's a great feeling to sponsor that and just help facilitate making that connection."

Chris Bretz recently returned from Afghanistan so the family will have the summer to celebrate Philip's big achievement.

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