Margaret “Penny” Pearson, a resident of North Mankato, Minnesota, was greatly missing her son. Her son, Army Sgt. Dustin Pearson, had been deployed in Iraq and Kuwait for the past year.
Though she missed her son every day that he was deployed, a special ceremony made his absence extra difficult. The ceremony just didn’t seem like it could be complete without his presence.
Pearson was graduating from nursing school and had a pinning ceremony. Sgt. Pearson played a key role in encouraging his mother to go back to nursing school to obtain her RN degree.
Pearson is also a mother to twin girls. When her children were young, she went to nursing school to become an LPN. An RN degree was always a dream of hers, however.
She pursued that dream over 25 years later while working as an LPN full-time. Her son was always a phone call away when she became overwhelmed with the coursework and challenge of balancing school, work, and family.
Her pinning ceremony would take place at Rasmussen College in Mankato. Her son would be back in the United States by the time the ceremony would take place.
Unfortunately, he told his mother that he had to stay in Fort Bliss, Texas to undergo medical treatment and wouldn’t make it to the ceremony. Sgt. Pearson made up an excuse that his hearing needed to be checked by a doctor before he could come to Mankato to reunite with his family.
Pearson thought about how her husband, brother-in-law, twin daughters, and grandson would all be in attendance to celebrate her accomplishment. It broke her heart that her son would not be sitting with the rest of the family at the ceremony.
Pearson was under the impression that her husband would be pinning her at the ceremony. Sgt. Pearson called his father with a wonderful idea.
Sgt. Pearson would surprise his mother by entering the ceremony to pin her instead of his father. The school made changes to the ceremony so that it would accommodate the surprise.
Pearson’s shocked and emotional reaction when it was announced that Sgt. Dustin Pearson would be pinning her is absolutely heartwarming. Not only did she celebrate the accomplishment of graduating from nursing school, but also the return of her son who she never thought would be able to make the ceremony!
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