Apex, N.C. — A Holly Springs soldier who has spent the last nine months in Afghanistan returned home early Sunday, surprising his 8-year-old daughter in Apex as she took part in an event to create care packages for other soldiers.
Shamira Lipscomb was busy packing boxes of snacks, popcorn and pop tarts when her father, Sgt. First Class Jonathan Lipscomb, returned a week earlier than expected.
"It feels really good to be home, real good to be home," Lipscomb said after he embraced his daughter. "I miss this little booger and my family."
Lipscomb, who will spend 15 days home on leave, serves with the North Carolina Army National Guard. He said Sunday the thought of hugging his daughter kept him going during his deployment.
For Shamira Lipscomb, the hug she shared with her father on Sunday was a moment she'll never forget.
"I was just really surprised," she said. "I'm so happy."
During his two weeks in North Carolina, Lipscomb said the family will spend as much time as possible together and take a trip to the beach.
Sunday's event to pack care packages for soldiers was organized by several people who attended high school with Lipscomb in Cary.