SAN DIEGO, May 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A special pin complemented Tom Hoffmann's cap and gown as he waited eagerly to cross the stage with nearly 1,200 graduates at the Ashford University spring commencement ceremony held earlier this month in Moline, Ill. The pin, which was given to him by his daughter Sidney Hoffmann just before she was deployed, was a yellow ribbon with a blue star banner pendant, indicating you have a child actively serving in the military. Tom traveled to commencement from just outside of Dallas to accept a diploma on behalf of Sidney, who is serving in the armed forces in Afghanistan. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130517/LA16695) (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130228/LA68969LOGO) "It's very exciting to be able to be a part of your child's graduation, but to get it for her while she is serving our country is an honor," said Mr. Hoffmann. "Like any father, I pushed her to complete her education and continued to push even when she was deployed. This is a big milestone. She was committed to getting a degree as well as serving her country." Sidney, 29, completed her bachelor's degree in human resources management with magna cum laude honors. She began her college career at a traditional university; however, Ashford University's progressive online platforms provided Sidney the flexibility necessary to continue her educational pursuits while being deployed overseas. "This truly was a rewarding experience," said Sidney. "The distance learning program allowed me the ease of working a full time job while providing the flexibility to participate on time with my classmates and instructors. I really appreciate everything Ashford has done for me and my family. I am truly grateful to the faculty and staff that made it possible for my father to take part in this momentous occasion."