Soldier meets newborn son for first time

January 7, 2008 4:32:51 PM PST
It's a belated Christmas gift to be remembered for a lifetime. A soldier returning home from Iraq sees his son for the first time.Jarrett Cane Johnson is one week old today and he spent the day in his father's arms, but the reunion won't last long.

It's the moment Erin Johnson has been waiting nine months to happen and she's a little nervous about it.

"I'm just anxious and wondering how he's going to be around the baby and all that kind of stuff," said Erin. "I don't know? Wondering what his reaction is going to be because he hasn't seen the baby except for pictures."

In the blink of the eye, the anxiety and any apprehension passes. Erin's son is no longer an image in a photograph. Daniel Johnson has been in Tikrit, Iraq, on his fourth deployment with the US Army.

Daniel said, "It feels good, been waiting a long time for it. Better than a web cam."

The happiness and hopefulness of the moment is lost on baby Jarrett. Like most newborns, he was sleeping and barely opened his eyes when he was picked up and held by his father for the first time. He was oblivious to his father's absence this past holiday season.

None of that matters for now, as the family walks off hand in hand, eager to spend their first days together. They have more pressing issues, such as whether baby Jarrett looks more like mommy or daddy.

"I don't know," Erin said. "People keep asking us and they look, and it's hard to tell Maybe in the next several weeks, he'll have more distinction and we'll see who he'll look like."

The Johnson family is making the most of their time together. Daniel tells Eyewitness News he's being re-deployed in 15 days.

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