Fort Campbell High’s graduation had the usual pomp and circumstance—along with a familiar pall. Many of the seniors crossing the stage did so without a mom or dad watching from the audience. Fort Campbell is the biggest military base high school in the US, and nearly every student at the Tennessee school has, or had, a parent in Iraq or Afghanistan, the AP reports. It’s a painful bond for the 116 students.
“You don't even have to explain it most of the time; everybody feels the same way,” said one senior. Her dad did watch her graduate—via Internet feed in Iraq. Still, another student says that being in a military family "makes you that much stronger. I wouldn't want to change it, to tell you the truth. It's something different—I'm proud of it."