FORT BRAGG: Paratrooper meets daughter as soldiers return - WRBL

Paratrooper meets daughter as Fort Bragg soldiers return

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Families wait at Fort Bragg for the return of paratroopers with the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry. (Brandon Herring, WNCN) Families wait at Fort Bragg for the return of paratroopers with the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry. (Brandon Herring, WNCN)
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -

Around 140 paratroopers assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg returned from Afghanistan Monday afternoon, a return that was particularly emotional for one paratrooper who had never seen his daughter.

The paratroopers were deployed for more than 8 months in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment Paratroopers served as security and support forces, facilitating the NATO training mission and combined security transition command missions throughout Afghanistan. Members of the battalion were spread across the five different regional commands set up in Afghanistan.

The soldiers landed shortly before 5 p.m. Other members of the same battalion returned to Fort Bragg in mid-August.

For Lt. Daniel Alvarez, the homecoming was his first opportunity to see his 5-month-old baby girl, who was born in the middle of his deployment.

"This was my second deployment, but this is the first time I've seen her," Alvarez said. "She looks like [her] mom, which is good."

Alvarez's wife said he left the day after Thanksgiving. They have three children, two of whom were born before Alvarez joined the Army. The third was born while he was not deployed. So the most recent deployment came with the special challenge of Alvarez leaving while his wife was pregnant.

"We are so excited for him to see her and hold her," Alvarez's wife, Laura, said. "When he joined the military, I knew it was a possibility and I never wanted it to happen. But we got through it just fine. 

"She didn't have a name until we got to talk about it. We discussed the name, and it was the first on both of our lists."

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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