Civilian Marine receives happy homecoming -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Civilian Marine receives happy homecoming

By Cade Fowler - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Waiting anxiously inside Southwest Georgia Regional Airport, two year old Braylin Pate knows her dad is coming home on airplane.

For the past year, MCLB civilian-Marine Brandon Pate was been deployed to Iraq's Anbar Province assigned to work on Marine vehicles.

Last February 9th Braylin watched him fly away to Iraq - and since then there have been a few changes - a new addition to the family

"We found out the day after he left we were expecting. It was stressful," said Courtney Pate.

She gave birth to 3-month-old Bristol in October. Brandon was able to come home for her birth but just days later returned to Iraq, leaving behind Braylin, Bristol, and 6-year-old Southern.

"The oldest one has her days when she was just really getting to miss him. But she perks up and is usually pretty happy. The two year old, she kind of understands it. But she'll tell you Daddy's in Iraq," said Courtney.

As family and friends gather in the terminal, the hand made signs with the words Welcome Home Daddy, say it all. But it's not until the plane lands that it sinks in - their dad is finally home.

"I see daddy," says Braylin.

And suddenly, he appears. It's a long awaited arrival met with long awaited hugs.

"They've changed so much. They've grown so much. And hearing their voices calling daddy, it's a sensitive moment," said Brandon.

And there is Bristol, whom he last saw when she was just 10 days old. Holding his baby for the first time since in months, the emotion sets in. 

"It's a big change. Coming home to a new one you haven't seen in several months, it's hard, they grow up quick." he says.

But the hugs aren't over until he finds his wife Courtney, who after months of waiting, has her family back together again.

"I'm going to back to work and have a normal day-to-day life. And try to make up lost time I had with my kids," says Brandon.

Lost time that's already being made up one hug at a time.



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