BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. - Emory & Henry is celebrating their homecoming festivities and Friday we learned they are expecting a very special guest -- an alumni and native of Pulaski, Virginia came home after serving 10 months in Afghanistan.
"Aw, I'm about to cry, I'm really happy," said Dee Halstead, the man's mother-in-law.
After 10 months of being away in Afghanistan, Special Forces Soldier Marc Fitzwater returned home to see his family. "We have [been apart] times, but with a daughter in the mix it's a different ball game," said Wife, Holly Fitzwater.
"In the beginning it's tough, what do you do?" said Marc.
However, Marc tells us his wife was there the whole way and Halstead agrees. "She's a strong woman and a support group also," said Halstead.
Holly tells News 5 that her daughter, Madison was only 13 months old when her husband was deployed and Marc says it was difficult. "It's tough watching your little girl grow up on Skype, but I am thankful for Skype," said Marc.
However, even with Skype, Holly tells us Madison was still confused as her dad walked towards her. "She did not recognize him at first," said Holly.
"She kind of stopped for about 30 seconds, gave me a weird look and then it clicked. I've been wrapped around her finger ever since," said Marc.
I learned this was Marc's third tour to Afghanistan and his family hopes it will be his last to the east, but for now, they tell us they plan to enjoy the time they have.
"To spend as much time as I can with them, that's my number one goal," said Marc.
Marc and his family plan to attend the Emory & Henry homecoming where they both went to college.
While there, Marc will be speaking to the football team about dedication to their teammates.