48th Brigade family getting back to the simple life - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

48th Brigade family getting back to the simple life

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April 28, 2006

Albany-- Hundreds of south Georgia military families are still all smiles after happy homecomings this afternoon. After a dangerous year-long deployment to Iraq, national guard troops from our area returned to their hometowns Friday.

We spent some time with one family as they get back to the simple things.

A single yellow ribbon adourns the Joyner mailbox in East Albany, a small token that brought the biggest delivery home.

"It feels great to be home, back with my family and friends," says Staff Sergeant Keith Joyner.

"I'm glad to see him and I'm happy he's home," says daughter Keybraisha Joyner.

Just a few hours since arriving in Albany, Joyner is ready to readjust from the sands and heat of Iraq to the comforts of home and family. Joyner says, "When I first saw them, I said it's finally over. It's over now. I see my family now. I'm happy."

He's happy and also observant. Things have changed a bit since he's been gone. "My kids they done changed, done got bigger. This little joker here, she's just frisky and talks a lot now. She wasn't talking when I left. Now, she's talking a whole lot," says Joyner.

One change that brought three words when he came home this afternoon. "I miss you," says 3-year-old Maya Joyner.

Now after 11 months, it's time to relax with family and get back to the things he's missed, the simple things. "Driving your car, going to a movie, just a simple walk outside to smell the fresh air, simple things like that, you take those things for granted," says Joyner.

And just being able to leave the boots by the door and watch a little television with family. They've also missed the little things.

"I was so used to saying what do you want to eat today and he wasn't here to answer that question," says wife Ursula Joyner.

"Joking. Him making me laugh all the time and him taking me to school all the time," says Keyandrea and Keybraisha Joyner.

One daughter wears Daddy's hat while the other fights for his shoes but everyone is happy that he's finally home again. "The biggest thing you miss is your family," says Joyner.

Together, they'll once again enjoy the simple things.

Staff Sergeant Joyner says the first thing he did after he saw his family was go to Burger King, his favorite fast food restaurant. Before he goes back to work at Autry State Prison, he'll spend time relaxing at home. Monday, he plans to go fishing.

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