Cheektowaga, NY- The welcome home signs were up and the family and friends were all waiting Saturday evening for PFC Zachary Dodson of Friendship in Allegany County to step through those gate doors at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
It was especially hard for wife Karyssa, their three year old son and their four month old daughter who was born as Dodson was serving his nine month tour in Kuwait. Karyssa described the wait time as surreal as she counted down his arrival time. It was delayed even further with a flight delay.
Finally the magic moment arrived and a very emotional PFC Dodson was able to hug and kiss his son and wife and cradle his daughter in his arms for the time.
Dodson told 2 on Your side photojournalist Ron Schanne "I've waited a long time to meet her. I really have. And it's taken a lot just to keep going. But it's worth it in the end. It really is and I'm just so glad to be home."
And now Specialist Dodson will spend the rest of his 30 day leave with his wife, baby daughter, family and friends. And he has promised his son that they are definitely going fishing.