The holidays are right around the corner and many of our friends and neighbors in the military are spending them away from their families. Today we surprised a Marine from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort serving in Iraq with an early Christmas present.
This is Staff Sgt. Christopher Barrett's first deployment to Iraq, and as you can imagine, it's been hard on his wife, Amie. But today we got to reunite the happy couple through a live satellite interview from Iraq.
The look on Amie Barrett's face was priceless when she first saw her husband pop up on a WTOC video screen. Sgt. Barrett just thought he was doing an interview with us. A few minutes in, we revealed the big surprise. We told him his wife was right here with us and then turned the phone over to her.
Seeing and talking with her husband is something Amie has longed for since he deployed.
"You look incredible," said Amy. "This is the best Christmas gift I could have asked for."
During our interview, Sgt. Barrett told us the most difficult thing is not being home with his family. "It's tough being away from them, especially my wife. I love her a lot so it's hard being away from her but we know this is something that has to be done and we're doing it."
"To hear him say he missed me a lot was...it touched my heart," said Amie.
Sgt. Barrett says, even though he misses his loved ones terribly, he doesn't let that interfere with his mission.
"Everybody here in 273 is doing a great job," he said. "The Marines are making things happen every day, making people proud in Beaufort and making their families proud at home."
Halfway through the deployment, he says morale is staying high. "Morale is pretty good. I'm sure everyone would like to be home for the holiday, but everyone has made it their choice to serve our country and it kind of goes hand in hand with that."
Sgt. Barrett's family in Michigan also got the opportunity to watch the interview from a satellite feed and they, too, got a chance to talk with him.
He and his squadron are expected home in the spring and Amie tells us she and her husband plan on taking the honeymoon they never got to celebrate for their fifth wedding anniversary. So they have lots of good things to look forward to.