Homecoming for SWFL soldier
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Today was homecoming for one SWFL soldier and his family.
It's been 307 long days since the Pepper family has seen dad.
"It's been difficult, but I've gotten through it somehow someway," said Michelle Pepper, wife of Sgt. Bert Pepper.
Sgt. Bert Pepper was deployed last July to Afghanistan. There he served as a supply sergeant in the Florida National Guard's 856th Quartermaster Support Company. He was in charge of distributing supplies to troops.
"I didn't really understand the feelings and stuff like that. To have three kids and have another one," said Michelle Pepper, "You just have to deal with it."
A lot has changed in 307 days. Randy, 13, is now a teenager; Kile, 12, has gotten a lot taller; and Khloe, at the tender age of 5, just graduated from preschool. But the biggest change around the house? Austin. He's only six months old and was born while dad was deployed in Afghanistan.
"Actually he's called a Skype baby, because he actually got to see him being born on Skype," said Michelle Pepper.
With all the signs, dolls, and gear packed in the truck it was finally time to see dad. So the Pepper family headed to the Fort Myers airport in their jet-black KIA minivan.
When the Pepper family got there, they were greeted by another family who also had a loved one coming home from Afghanistan.
They setup their signs, picked a spot by the window and waited.
Until the Air Tran 725 flight pulled into the gate, and dad filed off the plane.
"Having their support greatly helped the mission, helped me get back," said Sgt. Bert Pepper.
And just like that, a family was reunited.