Local News

Fayetteville Family Hopes Soldier's Return From Afghanistan Imminent

Posted August 4, 2003

— An Army family WRAL has been covering during a six-month deployment could soon be reunited.

Fort Bragg soldier Sgt. Gerald White, who was deployed in February, could return home as early as this week. The anticipation is building at home as his wife and daughters get ready for his return.

Photos and letters sent to White while in Afghanistan have already arrived at his Fayetteville home. His return date has changed so much that his wife, Angela, said she would not get her hopes up anymore.

Now, with news he may be back as early as Wednesday, Angela cannot help but feel excited and anxious.

"It seems like I've been waiting a lifetime for this," she said.

A lot has changed in the six months that White has been gone. Savannah was 4 months old when her father was deployed. Now 10 months old, Savannah is crawling, has six teeth and is saying "Da Da."

One of the infant's favorite toys is one sent to her from her father during his deployment. Angela worries how Savannah will react to seeing her father when he gets off the plane.

"That's the one moment I do fear -- is him coming to her and she pushing away. That will break his heart," Angela said.

Angela said the last few days have been overwhelming with the news that her husband could be coming home and then Savannah came down with a virus and high temperature.

It has been along six months for the White's -- and others like them -- but they have made it through taking one day at a time. Angela said she has a good feeling about the latest return timetable, but knows it could be pushed back at any time.

Angela joked that she and her husband may not recognize each other when they are reunited. In the last six months, Angela has lost 45 pounds. She said the weight loss is mostly from stress. In the desert, Gerald has lost 40 pounds.


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