News: Long Knife Soldier returns home to family, new son
Story by Spc. Angel Turner
FORT HOOD, Texas—Amongst the crowd of anticipating Families, Kateri Terrette stood with her 3-year-old son, her 7-month-old son and a sign describing the thoughts of her infant son who would soon meet his father for the first time in person.
This reunion and meeting was marked by a redeployment ceremony for soldiers assigned to the 4th “Long Knife” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, July 6 at Cooper Field, here.
Sgt. Brandon Terrette, a signal support systems specialist assigned to Troop B, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div., deployed to Afghanistan Oct. 30, 2012 and his son Easton, was born Nov. 7, just over a week later.
“It’s been tough but I’ve had good family support and friends in the area. My baby is 7 and a half months old and he’s about to meet daddy for the first time so it’s going to be emotional,” Kateri stated.
Although this deployment is the families third, new emotions mixed with a familiar feeling of waiting and excitement.
“He knew he was going to deploy,” Kateri said, who has been married six and a half years. “It’s just part of the life.”
Standing in the back of the formation and in plain view of his wife, Brandon had no idea his family stood just feet away from him. Once she visually realized her husband had indeed made it home tears flowed down Kateri’s face as she held on to her sons, waiting to get the go ahead to reunite with her husband.
“Skype has made it a ton better,” Kateri said. “My grandfather was in WWI, and they went by handwritten letters to communicate. I’m grateful for everything we have today and being able to see him and talk to him. I’m hoping that (Easton will) know his daddy’s face and voice at the very least.”
Kateri had intended on calling her husband’s name and allowing him to come to her and the children so they would not have to battle the crowd. That plan soon went out the window once the families were free to go find their soldier.
Almost in unison, she and her husband started toward each other but their son Rylan took off running towards his father yelling, “Daddy!”
Like a scene from a movie, Brandon knelt down with outstretched arms and his son happily jumped into them. Within seconds Kateri made it to him with their son Easton.
“It feels great to be home especially to be with my family,” said Brandon, a native of Avondale, Az. “Being gone and missing his birth wasn’t the easiest thing to deal with so now that I’m home I get to see him and spend time with him and continue on with our lives.”
Brandon, who was deployed for nine months mentoring his Afghan counterparts, said the hardest part was reaching different landmarks with his family such as his son’s birth, first words and the first laugh.
“What’s going to be hard now is learning to cope with everything that I’ve missed,” Brandon stated.
One thing Brandon missed out on was changing Easton’s dirty diapers.
“I told him I would give him a couple days but after that, I joked with him I was going to bring the baby to work so he could change him,” Kateri said.
Besides changing diapers, Brandon said he and his sons would have the luxury of taking a car ride as soon as possible.
With the Terrette family gathered together and Brandon holding his oldest son, he looked him in the eyes and stated, “I told you I would be home.”