EL PASO -- It was a long journey home for a high school principal serving in Afghanistan who returned home after nearly a year overseas to see his students graduate Friday night.
Anthony High School Principal Oscar Troncoso spent the last year serving in the Navy as a mass communication specialist in Afghanistan.
"I'm so happy I'm able to be here," Troncoso said at the Anthony High School graduation. "It meant everything to me to be able to be here, this is like my family too."
Troncoso had been in the Navy reserves for 20 years. He was never once called up until last September.
"At first you're worried about the unknown and what can happen, but once you do it and once you're there and once you contribute it just makes me feel proud," Troncoso said.
While in Afghanistan he stayed in touch with students via email and they would send him care packages.
Josh Alarcon said it was great to have his principal back in town for his graduation.
"I was pretty surprised," Alarcon said. "I was walking by and I was like oh snap he's here he made it he was able to make it."
Troncoso said it's the connection he has with his students that made his homecoming even more special.
So as each of his students received their diplomas, one by one, he shook their hands and wished them the best.