By Joel Hillan

MEAD, Colo. (CBS4) – Carlee Crisler woke up Saturday morning excited to graduate, but also a little sad her big brother wasn’t going to be there — or so she thought.

U.S. Army Private 1st Class Christopher Crisler got back from Afghanistan two weeks ago and although his sister knew he was in the country, she didn’t know he was going to be there for her graduation.

“My sister has always been there for me no matter what, so I wanted to be there for her,” said Crisler.

Carlee and Christopher Crisler (credit: CBS)

Carlee and Christopher Crisler (credit: CBS)

Their mother had been planning the surprise for three months. They hid Christopher in the choir room of Mead High School out of sight of the graduating class and his little sister.

(credit: CBS)

When the time came, Christopher was there to surprise his sister.

“I love you,” she said.

“I love you too,” he replied.

Christopher Crisler

The audience rose in a standing ovation to thank him for his service and celebrate the reunion.

Joel Hillan is CBS4’s Traffic Specialist and is featured on CBS4 This Morning. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.