• Soldier returns home to meet son for first time

    By: Nate Stewart


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - It was an emotional reunion for families and soldiers at the National Guard Armory, as the 875th Engineer Company returned home.

    Ten months of anticipation all comes down to this: Flags, posters and cars turn an airport hangar into a red-carpet event for soldier's families.

    The 875th were overseas helping to build a transition base.

    "You just don't know what this means to me to have my son home," said mother Barbara Sharpe, waiting for her son to return.

    Families like Kim Hood's said 10 months without her husband shined a spotlight on family struggles, especially when, "one month we find out we're pregnant and one month we find out daddy's leaving," Hood said.

    Spc. Wesley Hood has never met his 4-month-old son, Mason.

    "The only thing I could do was just dream of holding him. Now I got to do that," Wesley Hood said. His wife was just as excited to see her husband as he was to see his son.

    "A sigh of relief that he's finally home and safe. Safe with us," Kim Hood said.

    It's a reunion fit for a celebrity but made for soldiers. The dozens of families said they're just ready to get back home. The National Guardsmen who returned home Thursday will have 60 days of down time with their family before they have to start training again.

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