Education

From Raleigh to Afghanistan, soldier sees daughter graduate

Posted June 12, 2011 2:26 p.m. EDT
Updated June 15, 2011 7:25 a.m. EDT

— A soldier from Fuquay-Varina was determined not to miss his daughter's high school graduation, even though he was halfway across the world in Afghanistan.

Lt. Col. Michael Tormenti left for Afghanistan in January, and his deployment meant he wouldn't be home until July – just missing seeing his daughter, Victoria, be graduated from Fuquay-Varina High School.

"When we found he was going, that was one of the sad things about it," Kathy Tormenti said. "We said, 'You're going to miss Victoria's graduation.' He said, 'I don't want to tell her.'"

A media specialist at Fuquay-Varina High, whose son was recently injured in Afghanistan, wanted to help the family. She reached out to WRAL News to help Michael Tormenti see his daughter's graduation.

A camera captured the ceremony at the Raleigh Convention Center Sunday morning and fed it live to Afghanistan through the Internet.

Victoria Tormenti waved and talked to her father through the camera.

"Hi, daddy! I did it!" she declared, then added, crying, "I love you, daddy."

Victoria Tormenti said it was the next best thing to having her father there.

"He's, oh my gosh, probably really emotional," she said. "'My baby's growing up,' he is probably saying."