Navy Aviation Ordinance Airman Cody Surratt got his first glimpse of his baby daughter Tuesday morning at the Quincy Airport.
Surratt, of Versailles, Ill., returned home from an extended deployment in Syria aboard the USS Nimitz.
His wife Robyn Lewis Surratt and their two children, Issac and Madison, surprised him at the airport. Robyn Surratt was 7 1/2 weeks pregnant when Cody was deployed and gave birth to Madison while he was away.
"I couldn't sleep last night, I didn't even wake up to my alarm, I woke up before my alarm. So, it definitely feels like a dream," said Robyn.
Surratt was deployed on March 30 and he's had very little contact with loved ones since then. His wife said they talked over Skype, but that didn't match the feeling of being at home.
"It's been very hard, but I've had great support with family," Robyn Surratt said. "It's like being a single mother with a husband who's there, but not there."
Cody was originally going to be home for Madison's birth, but the crisis in Syria delayed those plans.
His wife said she was more excited for him to see his children even more than herself.
â??It's going feel unreal at first and it'll be overwhelming for him, too,â?? she said. "I'm more excited for my children than even myself. I want him to see them and hug them first. His children are the most important things in his life, my life."
Seeing his son walk to him was a special moment for Cody.
"That was awesome, I'm glad he's walking, last time he was barely crawling. Absolutely amazing, I've been nine months for it. A lot different from when I left, that's all I can say...trying to get used to it all," said Cody.
It was a long wait, but for now Robyn and Cody's family is home and together.
"I'm ready for him to be home permanently, and be able to spent the rest of our lives together," Robyn said.
Cody will be discharged in July. Before he leaves the Navy, he will take leave to search for a job.