ALBANY, GA (WALB) - After traveling thousands of miles, an Albany based Marine was able to make it home just in time for the holidays.
To some 6 months may not seem that long, but for others it could feel like a lifetime.
"Over the three deployments I've missed Christmases, birthdays, anniversaries," Marine Jason Schneider said.
He is a weapons manager and analyst for the Marines. Schneider spent the last half-year in Afghanistan.
After several years of service he says it doesn't get any easier to be away, especially with three growing children.
"As they get older they begin to understand more, being able to pick up things a little bit easier. And mom and dad having to to explain why dad has to leave for so long," Schneider said.
But this year his timing couldn't be more perfect. Schneider was home before December, a special time of the year for his family.
"We've done Christmas without him before," his wife Allison said, "and its not fun. They really miss him and just being able to just spend time with him, carry out our family traditions we normally would they would actually feel whole," Mrs. Schneider continued.
The family feels by celebrating Christmas together it will help keep their faith strong.
"As the father, the leader of my family, it's very important to me that I can be here during this time. So, I can instill those values and those faiths, traditions with my kids and share them with my wife."
"The kids are obviously very excited to unwrap gifts," Mrs. Schneider said. "But having their dad home is a huge deal for them."
It's an early Christmas that celebrates the most important things in life.
"Nothing beats being home," Schneider said.
Unfortunately not all military personnel can home for the holidays. However, there are ways you can bring the joy to them and their families.
There are several other programs that offer assistance as well, you can contact your local VFW or American Legion to see what is available.