FORT HOOD — Trishina Ellson’s 3-year-old son spent the past week looking for his daddy.
The family got word last week Spc. Terry Ellson Jr., would come home five months early from his Afghanistan deployment. Ever since they shared the news with Kaleb, he’s been looking for his father everywhere they go.
“Kids just don’t understand deployment,” said the mother of two, as they sat bundled up in freezing temperatures at Cooper Field on Sunday night waiting to bring their soldier home.
About 60 soldiers from 1st Cavalry Division’s 2nd “Black Jack” Brigade Combat Team arrived back at Fort Hood after spending only four of the scheduled nine months deployed to Afghanistan. About another 300 are expected in the coming weeks, as the brigade’s 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion and 15th Brigade Support Battalion finish up their work and return home.
“It’s based on the fluid nature of their mission and the progress they’ve made so far,” said Brig. Gen. Joseph Martin, the division’s deputy commander of maneuver, of the early return.
The brigade deployed about 3,200 in July to conduct a security force assistance mission throughout three regional commands. Their efforts support the withdrawal of U.S. personnel and equipment by the end of 2014.
It may be the coldest night of the year, but it was a great night, because now troopers will be home for the holidays, Martin said.
“We’re darn proud of them,” he said.
While Trishina Ellson was excited to hear her husband would be home early, she said she was also very stressed about it.
To be closer to family, she had packed up her two children and moved to Missouri for the deployment. She had a week to move back, find a house and get ready for her husband’s return.
It’s all absolutely worth it, the couple said. Terry Ellson will now get to experience his 7-month-old daughter Elizabeth’s first Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthday.
“It’s all those moments,” Trishina Ellson said. “I’m ecstatic.”