Lynchburg, VA - There's one family in Lynchburg that has something very big to be thankful for this Thanksgiving: Their dad is back home from serving in Afghanistan.
His wife Bethany Song decorated the whole yard for his homecoming, and even had a big sign out in the yard with his name and picture on it.
Bethany Song had good reason to be so excited. She's spent quite a few holidays without him.
"I missed my daughter's birthday, my 5th anniversary, Christmas, Thanksgiving, I've missed every major holiday, I've missed my birthday," said Capt. Yul Song, U.S. Army Chaplain.
"It was hard, especially Christmas morning, it was just very quiet. There's a lot of loneliness at times," said Bethany Song.
Capt. Song has spent a year in Afghanistan.
His two children grew up fast, and not having dad home seemed to bother 1-year-old Joshua the most.
"While I've been away, he hasn't been talking too much he stopped saying many words," said Capt. Song
They talked on the phone and saw each other on Skype.
"With pictures and Skype I could see their growth but nothing prepares you for the actual change that's happened in your kids," said Capt. Song.
Just two days before Veterans Day, Song came home. Little Joshua had a message for his father.
"We were at the light getting ready to turn and Yul turned around to look at him and he was like, 'daddy,'" said Bethany Song.
That's the first time ever, he said the word.
"I guess he just wanted to say it to him, rather than on Skype, he wanted to say it when he was present," said Bethany Song.
"It's definitely a day I will always remember," said Capt. Song.
They say they had tried for months to get Joshua to say daddy, but he wouldn't do it. He waited until his dad came home. They are very excited to spend the holidays together and celebrate his homecoming.