Military Man Sees Child For First Time As Troops Are Welcomed Home


UPDATED: Friday February 8, 2013 6:02 PM

The Ohio National Guard welcomed home 160 Soldiers from Afghanistan during a Friday ceremony in Mansfield.

It had been a little over 10 months since LeAnne O’Neil from Kent had seen her loved one, and she called the 319 days, “the longest wait of her life.”

But for military wife Brittani Atwood, she had a new addition to the family to introduce her husband to upon his return.

Brittani's husband, Specialist Matt Atwood, is part of the 1486th Transportation Company.  He met his six-month-old daughter, Vayda, for the first time Friday.

“Oh, it's amazing. I've only seen her in pictures. I don't even want to share her with anybody. I want to take her home,” said Atwood.

Military mother Jennifer Lyons, from Ashland, had balloons in hand and a lot of love to give for her daughter, who just returned from her first deployment.

“I've been proud of her, her whole life, and this just makes it even better,” Lyons said Friday.

According to the Ohio National Guard, members of the 1486th Transportation Company were responsible for “planning, synchronizing and executing tactical supply, sustainment and transportation operations throughout Regional Command South in Afghanistan.”

After a year-long deployment, the unit was replaced by the 1487th Transportation Company out of Piqua.

Previous deployments for the 1486th include Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004, and active duty mobilizations during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, according to the Ohio National Guard.

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