Transcript for Soldier Homecoming: Inside a Military Reunion
very special called "operation homecoming." Josh, you traveled all the way to afghanistan to tell this story. And would do it again. A story I've wanted to tell for a long time. Such a wonderful thing to be able to do. I'm honored to take all of you inside these emotional reunions, between service members and their loved ones, after months and months spent apart, after soldiers served a war. I did get a chance to go overseas in afghanistan and experience firsthand the sacrifices that the military families all make together, for their country and that incredible moment when they are all, once again, reunited. They are, in time of war, intensely american. And as heartwarming as they are patriotic. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome home marine lance corporal justin. Reporter: And whether they're planned. Or a total surprise. Are you freaking kidding me? Mrs. Johnson, reporting for duty. Reporter: They get me every, single time. Hi, baby. Mommy. Reporter: Military homecomings, troops reunited with loved ones after months deployed at war. Moments of pure love and beauty. Today, in a matter of hours, three families are about to experience that singular joy. I'm kind of getting nervous. Like, I don't think think i would. But I don't know. I'm so excited to see him. Reporter: And then -- to fully appreciate the sacrifice involved here, we wanted to trace back this moment, from both sides, in the weeks prior. We met with three families. And then, we went to afghanistan. To meet their partners. Jennifer stewart's husband, major michael stewart, is stationed in ghazni afghanistan. At home, she runs the ship and a tight one, with two kids. 2-year-old patrick. And 6-year-old izzy. The moment I see him, there will be an invisible weight that is just gone. And I won't know that it's gone or that it's even there, until i can't feel it. Reporter: Do you let yourself think about that moment? Oh, gosh, yeah. I'm more excited about him coming home, than I was about the day we got married. Reporter: Jesse fuller and her husband, michael, a specialist in the army, had a baby boy, brantley, last december. Michael deployed to afghanistan just two weeks later. I'm going to be -- Reporter: You are? And that's army captain william lots number 69 from west point. He deployed knowing he would miss the birth of their first child. Daughter, finley, was born in july. That will be one of the best moments, in my life. Because he'll be home. And he'll be safe. Reporter: And while their soldiers are on the front lines of war, the void can be exhausting and painful. Diapers and teething. You just want to -- I can't. No one is there to break up your day or your weekend. You know, going to church by yourself. Just when you think about them a lot. Reporter: How do you mark them off? When you sent a national news crew to my house, we did all of this in one day. Reporter: I saw the list in there. That would take a lot of time. What are those moments like? And when do they happen? For me, going to bed alone, when I know that I've married someone, kind of make sure that doesn't happen, is the hardest. So, I tend to fall asleep on the couch a lot. Reporter: What are you looking forward to most to be able to say to him in person? I can't wait to tell him how absolutely certain and unquestionably thankful I am to have found the person I am supposed to be with. And sometimes you don't know that until that person isn't close enough to tell. Reporter: You were saying, as far as comfort goes, this is sort of top of the line? Yeah. Reporter: Specialist fuller and captain lots are in harm's way every day. CLEARING IEDs FROM AFGHANISTAN'S Most dangerous roads. How often do you fear for his safety? I pray for him every day. I still assume that something happens every day. The gunners have to be scanning the centers. Reporter:6,600 miles and really what feels like light years away. Their husbands, inviting me to enter their world for a few days. Do you think about the danger you're in every day? Anywhere you go in afghanistan, there's people trying to kill you. It hits home. I saw the body of the captain. I was a captain at the time. And I looked down and said, that guy could have been me. Reporter: What's it like for this to be a normal way of life? Having me right out the door? It's your protection. Reporter: Knowing you weren't going to be there for the birth, what was that like? Pretty hard. You can't -- you don't have -- only have one first child born. Reporter: I figured it my duty, to bring a surprise message from home. We're so excited to get you home. Counting down the hours. So, I love you. Reporter: How's that? That's good. I can't wait to be home. Reporter: Today is major mike stewart's 37th birthday. And I have a gift from his daughter, izzy. Hi, daddy. I love you. See you soon, honey. She's an amazing woman. They're always there for me. And you know, the minute that stops, this job's gone. Big, blue eyes. Reporter: Huge. Don't eat it. See you soon. Reporter: What's that moment going to be like, when you go home again? It's going to be blissful. I'll probably cry a little bit. I think seeing both the kids and jen together will be nice. That's what I'm living for right now. I'm pretty sure it will be tunnel vision. Everything will be black around me. And I'm going to see her and my son. Reporter: Five days from this moment, as a part of the u.S. Military drawdown, they shutter their base in ghazni. And then, wheels up from afghanistan. Next stop, ft. Drum, new york. And a moment that's been nine months in the making. On their way. Wow. Left us hanging there, josh. I did. I did. It was just -- it was -- we really wanted you to understand what it was like for both sides. Again, it's something we've always talked about on the show, with these military units. I wanted to trace it back from both sides. Tomorrow, we are going to see that moment, when they -- the procession. They walked into the auditorium. And those families have a chance to stand as one and thank their military men and women for the service. And then, the scrum ensues. The family finds families. That's awesome. Thank you so much. I cannot wait for tomorrow. It was good. I want to thank james wang, nick McHUGH AND MONTGOMERY PRICE. I can't wait to bring it to you
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