Soldier from Friendship Returns & Meets New Daughter

5:29 PM, Mar 24, 2013   |    comments
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FRIENDSHIP, N.Y. -- A soldier from Friendship met his four-month-old daughter for the first time Saturday night when he returned home from his deployment.

Friday, we went to Friendship to catch up with the Dodson family to find out how everyone is adjusting to dad being home.

Army Private First Class Zachary Dodson gets emotional when talking about meeting his daughter, Isabel for the first time.

"It was more emotions than I really ever had to deal with, especially coming home. It's hard," says Dodson.

Dodson missed seeing his daughter's birth in person four months ago because it happened during his nine month deployment to Kuwait.

"We were actually able to Skype her birth, so he was there for that," says Dodson's wife, Karyssa.

Now, Dodson is making up for that lost time with Isabel, her big brother, Owen, and his wife.

"We wanted to go fishing, but I don't know if that's going to happen with that weather," says Karyssa.

"Yeah, I want to go fishing," said Owen.

While he is overseas, Dodson says he definitely misses the comforts of home.

"You're thrown into a completely different culture. Completely different group of people and they have a whole different set of rules that you have to follow. It's a culture shock, it really is, but it's nice to be able to see different parts of the world and know that we're making a difference," he says.

By serving our country, he also wants to make a big difference for his wife and children.

"When you see your kids and you know you're keeping our country safe, what do you hope for their future?" asked Kelly Dudzik.

"I hope that they don't have to do the same thing that I'm doing. I'd rather have them go to college and have a better life than I have. I'm not saying my life's bad, I know when I go out there, it's me or them and I don't want them to have to make that decision. That's my big thing," he said.

And, by just spending a little time with Dodson family, you can see just how much they truly love each other.

"It was pretty amazing. I'm really glad to be home. I really am," says Dodson.

"Cherish every moment that you have with each other, because you never know," said Karyssa.

Next, Dodson goes to Fort Lewis, Washington for a year and a half, and then he plans on re-enlisting.

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