US Army Specialist Returns To East Texas For Easter - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/27/05-Tyler

US Army Specialist Returns To East Texas For Easter

For one East Texas family the Easter holiday was made even more special by the return of a son and soldier. Army Specialist David Milliken of Yantis has served for over a year in Iraq. He's missed birthdays, Christmas, and the new year celebration. Sunday evening his family hugged and greeted him face-to-face for the first time in almost seven months.

"I'm nervous," David's uncle Joe Britton said. "I'm ready to put my arms around him."

Saturday night was a restless night for David's family.

"Well we haven't been sleeping very well. Everybody's excited," said his grandmother, Virginia Britton.

For months their son, grandson and big brother has been fighting for his country in Iraq.

"You worry everyday and there's times we didn't hear from him for a week or two weeks at a time," his mother Missy Birchfield said.

However, on the Easter holiday the worry was replaced by excitement

"He's been in Iraq well for over a year," said Lynn Birchfield, his father, "we're just very thankful he's coming back."

"He was still in Germany last night and he was calling us a lot cause he's ready to come home," his grandmother said.

"Easter is a special day and it makes it that much better, we're going to have Christmas now with him," his mother said.

Minutes seemed like hours. A flight running behind, the excitement running on high. Then finally a glimpse of their son. A hug from mom that never wanted to end. Tears from an overwhelmed grandmother. David is home.

"It's exciting," his grandmother said. "It's exciting, it's peaceful just knowing that he's here now."

"I haven't gotten to see them in about a year," David said. "It's great to be home. It's just great to see everybody again, its been a while."

Tears of happiness, on a day when families come together, David Milliken's family was complete.

"It's like there was a hole," his mother said of the past few months. "There's a spot missing, and on today the circles being completed. It's all together, my kids are here, and it just makes it so much special."

David will be home in East Texas for 30 days before returning to Iraq. As a special present to him, his mother had a few desired modifications made to the truck he bought just days before his deployment. They added monster truck wheels, paint and had the truck raised about 5 feet off the ground.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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