By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – When Sgt. Stacey Harlow stepped in the Tupelo Regional Airport Friday after a year-long stint in Afghanistan, he seemed oblivious to the cheers and applause from dozens of family, friends and fellow soldiers.
Harlow looked left and right, scanning the crowd and the many welcome home signs being waved in front of him.
It wasn’t that Harlow was ungrateful to everyone who’d shown up to show him love, but there was one person in particular he’d waited months to get that love from first.
Then, one loud shout turned his anticipation into instant joy.
“Daddy,” screamed little 3-year-old Mia Alexis Page Harlow as she navigated through the crowd to get to her soldier.
“Come here, baby,” Harlow yelled out, dropping to his knees with arms out wide waiting for the embrace he’d traveled hours to receive. “Daddy is home ,baby, Daddy is home.”
Harlow and fellow solider Lt. Joseph Fields were the last two soldiers from the 658th Q-Master Company to return home from a year-long deployment in Afghanistan. The men were attached to the 212 Transportation Company out of Chattanooga, Tenn.
When Fields entered the terminal, he was immediately greeted by his wife Stephanie. Few words were passed between the two as Fields held on tightly to his wife, who soaked his uniform in tears.
Both men’s parents, Wade and Tina Martin for Fields and Sandra and Terry Harlow for Harlow, were also waiting for their soldiers. Tina and Sandra were prepared to wait behind leading ladies, Stephanie and Mia but made sure they were second in line for hugs and kisses.
“It’s been a long year,” said Sandra Harlow. “I’m just tickled to death that he’s home safe and sound. We have missed him so much and this little girl is ready to see her daddy.”
Read more in Saturday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.