PLAISTOW — Megan Voisine was eager to get her Timberlane Regional High School diploma yesterday, unaware that she’d also be handed the memory of a lifetime.
The graduation ceremony stopped with her on stage, standing with principal Donald Woodworth. Her brother, Cody Voisine, then walked into view in full military uniform to hand over her diploma.
But the entire Voisine family thought Cody, a Navy Seaman, was still on active duty in Bahrain — where he’s been deployed since October.
“It took her a second to put it together,” Woodworth said. “She looked up, and you could see her almost wilt. It was amazing.”
Megan Voisine is the last of four Voisine children to graduate from Timberlane.
After Cody Voisine graduated in 2012, he enlisted and went off to boot camp in May of 2013. He then came home for two weeks before heading to the island kingdom just off Saudi Arabia last October, he said.
By Christmas, he knew he wanted to surprise his younger sister for graduation. As February became March, he tipped off his mother Wendy Voisine that he would try to make the ceremony, he said.
At around the same time, Megan was putting messages out on Twitter about how she missed her brother and wished he could come home, Cody Voisine said.
“They always had a tight bond, the two of them,” Wendy Voisine said. “They grew up together, spent lots of time at home together.”
But Wendy didn’t think her son would make it home, given how recently he went into the service, she said.
“I didn’t expect he’d be able to travel this early,” Wendy Voisine said. “We thought he’d be there at least a good year before he had time to come back and visit.”
The entire time, Cody was in contact with Woodworth, who’s office was arranging for his surprise at commencement since March.