WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 17, 2012, 05:31 PM

Soldiers return home after a yearlong deployment

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- The welcome home celebration was a happy reunion for many families.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- The welcome home celebration was a happy reunion for many families.

Kerstin, Jordan Overby's son Gavin was just two months old when Jordan's unit was deployed to Kuwait. That meant missing many precious early moments.

Today, his girlfriend Haley and their son finally welcomed him home.

Haley Ballweber's life changed when her boyfriend Jordan deployed to Kuwait.

He left behind their new home in Wahpeton, and two-month-old Gavin.

Haley Ballweber: "It's been hard because he missed everything except the first birthday."

A year later, Haley anxiously awaited his return... standing beside supportive family members.

Vickie Medenwaldt/Jordan's mother: "We just have butterflies, it's such a great day."

As soldiers filed off of the plane, Haley spotted Jordan and weaving through the crowd, rushed to greet him.

Jordan: "It's been a long year, glad to be back with my family."

After holding Gavin for a moment, Jordan lowered him to the ground and took his first walk with his son.

Jordan: "He only started walking a month ago, so its the first time."

It was a precious moment to make up for the many that he had missed during his year away.

Haley said seeing Jordan made the long, difficult year suddenly feel like it had flown by.

Haley: Unreal, I can't believe he's actually back.>

Jordan and his family said they regularly spoke via Skype, which helped them cope with the long distance, but it doesn't compare to actually being together in person.