Soldier's story: The Homecoming -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

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Soldier's story: The Homecoming

Corporal Ron Simmons Corporal Ron Simmons
Darion gets a squeeze from dad and grand mom Darion gets a squeeze from dad and grand mom

May 4, 2004

Ft. Benning, GA-- A Dougherty High School graduate got his diploma and joined the Army.

Corporal Ron Simmons is now 24-years-old. He spent the past year fighting terrorism in Iraq. This wasn't his first time away from home for the military, but it was his first time in combat.

"My son is Corporal Ron Simmons in 608th, my only son," said Jackie Simmons. And his only son is five-year-old Darion Simmons. "I love it when he come home," says little Darion.

Grandma asks, "And what are you going to do when he comes home?"

Darion: "He's going to hug me and kiss me."

"Hug you and kiss you all over." Jackie said, "I always had faith that God would bring him home safely."

Corporal Simmons is inside a commercial plane, about to land at Ft. Benning. And what does Darion miss the most about seeing daddy? "We doing guy stuff. Watching TV and playing games."

Games. Exactly what his dad hasn't been playing. For the past year, the Albany soldier was fighting terrorism in Iraq.

In the line of anxious soldiers, Corporal Simmons' army boots finally touch Georgia land. He remembers "A lot of crazy noises at night. Explosions. Gunshots. A couple of aircraft going down. I'm just glad to be here," said Ron.

But, his family wasn't allowed to get as close as we could. "It's been a long journey," Ron said. "All my comrades made it home safely. No casualties from my unit."

They survived a year, but it will be at least an hour and a half before they can set eyes on their families. "That's all I've been hearing the whole year. He wants to do guy stuff, everything is guy stuff. I'll find out what he wants to do, and we'll do it." The soldier's have to get on a bus to check in at Ft. Benning. "The emotions, I can't explain it. I'm just ready to go," Ron said.

Finally, the sound of the troops heard echoing down the street. They are a block away. Little Darion and his family waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

Simmons is ninth in line, and then the joyous, tearful reunion. One son trying to comfort his own. "He's probably the oldest 24-year-old, with what he's seen and what all the other troops have seen," says Jackie.

Corporal Simmons will soon leave the military behind. This soldier doesn't want to miss another second of his son's life. "This will be the first birthday I'll get to see this year," said Ron. "I'll get out in November, and his birthday is in December."

Making it easier to do things like this, guy stuff. Corporal Ron Simmons has been deployed numerous times, including Germany, Kosovo and of course the latest, in Iraq.

  • Soldier's Story, Part I: Ballet to Bullets
  • Soldier's Story, Part II: The Homecoming 
  • Soldier's Story, Part III: Classmate to Comrade
  • Soldier's Story, Part IV: Positives outweigh negatives
  • Soldier's Story, Part V:  Lifesavers

  • posted at 4:20PM by

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