OMAHA, NE (WOWT) — The evening snow may have caused some delays and travel issues Friday, but it didn’t stop a heroes’ homecoming at Eppley Airfield for two married Army pilots.
The couple was concurrently deployed for the second time, this time for four and six months. But the latest deployment was the first time they were away from their two young daughters.
6 News was there Friday night for the family’s reunion — the moment they’d all been waiting for.
Geared with a sign and a shirt, two “cuties” couldn’t wait to see their mom and dad. Brinkley, 3, and Blaize, almost 18 months, hadn’t seen their parents in months.
Brandon Valle was deployed to South Africa for six months; his wife, Brandie, was in Afghanistan for four months.
“Deployments without kids is a lot easier, I think,” Brandie said Friday. “When you are away from your kids, it makes it more challenging.”
“Being overseas and serving, it’s something we want to do,” he said. “But it’s hard when you have kids.”
Serving our country also means sacrifices must be made, and milestones can be missed.
Their families made it easier, they said.
“That took so much street off deployments,” Brandon said. “In the Army, when a soldier deploys, the family is deploying, and that’s the case here.”
Debbie Sutherland was happy to be of service.
“You step up when you have to,” she said. “And we are lucky with all the kids we have, being good aunts and uncles and cousins.”
The Army gave Brandon and Brandie special permission to come back home and get their girls instead of going to their next base. They leave next week to relocate to Arizona for two years before going to South Korea.