GRANDVILLE, Mich.— Ceirra Lacefield is serving overseas, but she surprised her younger sister on Friday during lunch hour at school.
The sisters had spent more than a year apart.
“I actually heard my friend Taylor say, ‘It's your sister,’" said younger sister Alana Duffield. "And I looked at her, and I said ‘What did you say?’ I turned around and there she was!"
In her family, Lacefield is the third generation woman serving her country, after her grandmother and mother. She’s been serving in the U.S. Navy in Bahrain for the past year with three months focused on anti-terrorist fort protection.
Lacefield being so far away has been hard on her younger sister.
“I actually had a dream one night that I was sitting in the lunch room and I see Cierra. She was just standing there, and I run to her,” said Alana.
"I wanted to make her happy,” said Lacefield, "and I thought a surprise would be good."
Lacefield says she’s gotten used to being on her own, but the little sister she left behind isn’t having as easy of a time.
Alana keeps reminders of her big sis all over her room. She is proud of her sister, but she’s always on edge, she says.
“It gets hard, because hearing about all these strikes and these things that are going on, and I just ask, ‘Is she safe? Is she okay?'" Allana said. "It always comes back around that she’s okay."
Meanwhile, the sisters are cherishing the days, hours, and minutes they have together for now. Cierra will ship out again April 1.
She’s uncertain when she’ll see Alana again. But, near or far, they both know they can count on each other.
“I’m always thinking of her,” said Alana.
Lacefield recently injured her back during a training exercise overseas. While she recovers, she will be stationed in Virginia. The family says they will be planning a trip sooner than later to visit her.
As for following in the family footsteps into the service, Alana says she’s not sure if she will.