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Rains Drown BA Army Mom's Chance To See Son Graduate

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Leanna Todd-Fletcher said she's trying to be understanding, and strong, like her son taught her to be. Leanna Todd-Fletcher said she's trying to be understanding, and strong, like her son taught her to be.
Leanna’s hero, her 18-year-old son Johnny, doesn’t wear a cape, he wears combat boots. Leanna’s hero, her 18-year-old son Johnny, doesn’t wear a cape, he wears combat boots.
Leanna hopes to visit her son while he's at advanced training over the next few weeks. Leanna hopes to visit her son while he's at advanced training over the next few weeks.
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma -

A Broken Arrow mom says Mother Nature is keeping her from seeing her son on a very important day and she’s out $1,000 because of it.

Leanna Todd-Fletcher said her son was set to graduate from Army basic training next week but his base, Fort Jackson, is located in South Carolina, and due to all the flooding in that area the base canceled graduation.

Leanna’s hero, her 18-year-old son Johnny, doesn’t wear a cape, he wears combat boots. She said Johnny dreamed of joining the Army all throughout high school to make his family proud.

"He wanted to succeed and be a better man," she said.

Johnny's first major milestone in that journey will be graduating from basic training next week. It would have been the first time Leanna has seen him in two-and-a-half months.

"We were looking forward to doing this and then when it got taken away from us we were all devastated. All the moms were," she said.

But, because South Carolina is still trying to recover from deadly floods after heavy storms pummeled the state last week, Fort Jackson was forced to cancel four different graduation ceremonies and family days throughout October.

Major General Roger Cloutier, the base's commander, published a statement, saying, in part:

"It would not be appropriate to bring thousands of visitors into an area working to restore services, repair critical infrastructure, and help families impacted by the flooding...Most of the restaurants in the area remain closed and a number of the roads are impassable…The unit is notifying families and friends not to travel to Fort Jackson. I know you are disappointed...but thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding."

Leanne said she's trying to be understanding, and strong, like her son taught her to be. She said major college football games and the state fair are still going on in South Carolina despite the floods. 

"I did. I cried most of the morning. Now I have to turn around and be that Army Strong mom and do what I need to do for everybody," she said.

Fort Jackson said it contacted some major airlines, like Delta, to grant the soldiers' families their refunds.

Leanna spent $1,000 on the trip and said she hasn't seen any of the money back yet.

She hopes to visit her son while he's at advanced training over the next few weeks. 

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