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Airman Returns Home to Meet First Child

Deployed Airman Returns Home to Meet First Child

Staff Sgt. Kyle Snodgrass holds his young son, Griffin, for the first time at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, while his wife, Jahee, looks on. The 927th Air Refueling Wing maintenance technician was deployed when his son was born. (Staff Sgt. Xavier Lockley)

When the KC-135 Stratotanker loaded with Reserve Citizen Airmen returning from a deployment touched down at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, recently, Staff Sgt. Kyle Snodgrass was the first person off the plane.

There was somebody he couldn’t wait to meet.

Snodgrass, an aircraft maintenance technician assigned to the Air Force Reserve’s 927th Air Refueling Wing at MacDill, rushed off the plane to see his wife, Jahee, and his newborn son, Griffin. It was the first time he had the chance to see Griffin in person.

“This is such an overwhelming experience,” the staff sergeant said. “Having been away from my wife and son for some time, I couldn’t be happier to meet my son and be reunited with my wife. I really missed both of them.”

Thanks to a spotty internet connection, Snodgrass was able to witness his son’s birth from thousands of miles away, and for weeks he was able to see his child through photos and online chats. Still, there’s nothing like seeing your child in person for the first time.

“I looked at those two at that moment and it was everything I could have ever imagined,” he said. “I thought they were the most beautiful people I’d ever seen.”

While Snodgrass will be adjusting to life as a new dad, Jahee said she’s glad he’s home and will help him adjust to being a new parent.

“I’m so happy to have him back. I really missed him,” she said. “I’m going to let him get adjusted to being a new dad and to being back on U.S. soil. He’s coming back to something new that he didn’t have when he left, so that adjustment period will be good for him.”

The Air Force Reserve is committed to fostering an environment of resiliency and providing the resources Reserve Citizen Airmen and their families need and deserve.

“The amount of support we’ve received from all of our base resources has been outstanding,” said Snodgrass. “We couldn’t be more thankful to the people around the wing who have helped us. Even when I was deployed, the people there were outstanding.”

(Lockley is assigned to the 927th ARW public affairs office.)