SACRAMENTO -- Through the screen of a borrowed iPhone, the Terrell family got the kind of reunion they have not had in a year with their U.S. Army Pfc. Andre Terrell Jr.
It may be the only one they get this Christmas season all because of money.
"It's tough to put money away 'cause every time there's something that needs to be paid or some bill or something that comes up," said Andre Terrell Sr. "My wife she needs to have surgery, dental surgery, so that's an extra cost. Insurance doesn't pay that much of it."
All that is just some of what has left the Sacramento father at a loss for just how to bring his oldest home for the holidays.
Even with a full-time job and driving for Uber on the side, it just was not enough to get the 23-year-old a Greyhound bus ticket when he recently found out Terrell Jr. got leave granted from his base, Fort Bliss, starting the 23rd.
The Army doesn't cover travel expenses home for soldiers based stateside.
"Was excited when he told me but now it's like how do we get you here?" Terrell Sr. said.
"It's becoming quite a bit more of a struggle than I thought it was," Terrell Jr. said.
Enlisted for about as long as his littlest sister has been alive, the young Army Stryker mechanic hates that he does not have the tools to fix this problem for his family.
His father turned to GoFundMe as a solution but as of early Thursday night, the page had only raised $80 in three days.
As FOX40 helped him FaceTime for his first time to see his sister walking three days before he might be able to see it all in person, the soldier's heart was full.
"Oh, it's like, I'm lost for words. For real," he said.
Terrell Jr. said he just hopes to be able to convert FaceTime into a real face-to-face for Christmas.