SAN ANTONIO - Hundreds of trainees graduated from basic training at Lackland Air Force Base on Friday.
For one airman, graduation was a way of honoring her father who was killed in the line of duty.
Siera Ward, 19, clenched tightly to a very special photo during the ceremony. "He always pushed me to join the Air Force," she said.
Ward lost her father, Peach County Sheriff's Sgt. Patrick Sondron, last year after he was shot and killed after responding to a dispute between neighbors in Byron, Georgia.
Sondron served in the United States Air Force before working in law enforcement. Ward now follows in his footsteps.
"I am proud of myself," she said. "I'm happy and I did it all for him."
As the graduation ceremony came to a close, her mother and brothers embraced her along with some other very special family.
Bexar County Sheriff Sgt. Teresa Christensen and other deputies stood in place of Ward's father.
"When something tragic happens, as what happened to her father, it's about commitment beyond ourselves and about family," Christensen said.
The deputy congratulated Ward with a "Yellow Rose of Texas" and words of encouragement.
"She's going to do great things," Christensen said. "I have no doubt in my mind."
Ward said she'll continue to push through and always remember the brave qualities of her father.
"He's helped a lot of people get on the right track," Ward said. "He gave up a lot to take care of us."
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