Soldier Returns Home For Christmas

by Christa Lollis

Around the room today Daniel Stewart gave hug, after hug. It's the first time he's been home in 15 months. "I smiled for about the first 3 hours. I couldn't stop. A lot of hugs, a lot of laughing, just talking, chit chatting," Daniel Stewart told KTRE.

Daniel has only been in the army for 21 months and almost all of it has been spent overseas but he knew that was part of the job. "I knew that when I joined I was going and that's part of the reason to go so that I served my country. It was pretty intense though most of the time I am not going to lie. It was a great learning experience," he explained. Getting through those 15 months was hard at times but knowing his parents were back home supporting him helped him pull through. "They were pretty good. They were real calm and collected. They supported me and that's what I needed you know, someone to be over here that wasn't freaking out cause that would probably in turn make me freak out," Daniel said. The 15 months wasn't always so easy for his parents though. His father Robert Stewart explained, "It was always tense knowing that he was in combat situations almost everyday. I spent 20 years in the army and never even deployed overseas."

He's home now, and everyone is excited about that. "It's just a great release and relief to have him back. He deployed 15 months ago and it's nice to have him back. He didn't have to spend his second Christmas overseas," his father said. 15 months is a long time but it's a part of his life Daniel will never forget. "The best part is the experience, the friends I made. These guys that toughed it out with me for 15 months, those are really good guys from all over America. The worst was just being gone just the fact that for 15 months I can't see my friends and family," Daniel told us.He's back now and says for the next 30 days he hopes to just take it easy and enjoy being home.