Todd Welsh had just graduated from Marine Boot Camp on Parris Island, but the family's full celebration was delayed slightly as the Welsh's middle son, Bryan, was set to graduate Coast Guard Boot Camp in Cape May just days later.
Coast Guard tradition dictates that graduates may have a family member -- who has served or is serving -- present their graduating certificate. It was arranged that their grandfather, a Korean War Navy veteran, would be escorted by son and new Marine, Todd.
However, when the two went for presentation ceremony training, they were told that someone else had been tapped to make the presentation, the identity of which was not disclosed. With a number of Coast Guard brass on hand, the Welsh's figured perhaps one of them had requested a roll in the proceedings.
Just then, the Welsh's oldest son, John, called on the mobile phone to say that he was in a bar in Tokyo and wanted to congratulate his brother. John was told he was two hours too early, and to call back after 12 p.m. when the ceremony would be over.
The graduation proceeded, and in time they came to Bryan Welsh. Bryan's name was called, and the announcement said he was being presented by his brother. But that couldn't be, as Todd Welsh was seated next to the family.
The words following "presented by his brother" were, to the family's surprise and joy, "Naval Lieutenant John Welsh."
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