Bainbridge-- There no feeling in the world quite like coming home. "You don't ever feel it until you get here then when you get here it just feels great," says Sergeant Lance Smith. This is second deployment to Iraq with the National Guard.
His wife Michelle says for their tight knit family, distance is the hardest part. She says, "Sometimes I have my days, it gets hard." Lance Smith adds, "its hard leaving your family leaving them behind. Not being with them. You know I wish everyday I could be with them, but I can't."
But Thursday was a day their whole family could be together, and the Smiths didn't want to waste a second of it. Their 10-year-old daughter Leah, knew her dad was coming home on leave, but he still managed to sneak up on her. "It's happier than you expect. Its like the best thing you could get if someone in your family comes home," Leah Smith says.
Its been nearly 5 months since Leah has seen her dad. She says, "Its sad seeing someone that you love go to somewhere that's dangerous." But he's never been far from her thoughts. "I've been praying for him every chance I get and it comes true," says Leah. Just in time for Christmas her biggest prayer of all comes true.
"It's good to be home. I'm glad to be back in Georgia, I know that," Sergeant Smith says. And Georgia, his friends, and most importantly his family, are glad to have him back.
Sergeant returns to Iraq in 2 weeks, but will be home for good in April.