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PITTSBURG, Pennsylvania-- Jim Burchfield is a major in the U.S. Marine Corps. Tuesday, he is shipping out to Afghanistan.

He ll be taking along a once-in-a-lifetime memory: his daughter s high school graduation. A bit of creativity made it happen.

The military runs deep through three generations of Major Jim Burchfield s family. He says, My father was in the Army during World War II I probably influenced the boys. As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a Marine.

Deployments have forced Burchfield, like so many others who defend our country, to miss special moments like birthdays and anniversaries; moments that a 17-year-old Melanie Burchfield has worn bravely.

But when Major Burchfield leaves his home near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania today for his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, he ll miss his baby girl s high school graduation.

Major Burchfield s something special began with an email to Bethel Park High School principal Zeb Jansante. He says, He requested that he take a few photos with his daughter with her cap and gown on.

On Wednesday, March 27th, Bethel Park hosted its first mock graduation and after-party all for just one student and the dad whose known as a hero to many in this community. Jansante says, What our military does for our country its very, very important to us, so we responded.

Decked out in her cap and gown, Melanie stood next to her father in his formal greens. It was something special.

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