“She was excited. She spotted me from a couple rows back and she couldn’t contain herself. I wasn’t gonna tell her no."
In a day filled with joy and emotion, Daniel Oglesby's little girl stole the show when she broke away from the crowd and raced towards her daddy.
It was the first time father and daughter had seen each other in eight months, and despite still being in formation, Oglesby didn't hesitate to give her a hug.
The crowd gave the pair applause while they waited to reunite with their returning soldiers.
Three hundred soldiers from Fort Carson's 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division returned home Tuesday from southwest Asia. The first group returned home at 6 a.m., and the other Tuesday afternoon.
"It feels really good," said Lt. Michelle Kelly, who returned with the first wave. "I got extremely excited once we were outside."
"It's good to have her back," husband Lt. Michael Kelly said. Michael Kelly stayed stateside with the couple's young son while his wife deployed.
"It's been a long, long eight months," he said.
"I was tired this morning," Timothy Campbell exclaimed. His father, 1st Lt. Adam Campbell, returned at 6 a.m.
"[I feel] great!" Timothy told 11 News.
All around the Campbells and Kellys, similar scenes played out in the William Reed Special Events Center: parents cradled their kids, spouses embraced, and no one could stop smiling.
Oglesby, who returned with the afternoon group, said the looks on the families' faces made everything that came before better.
"Being gone for eight months--it's tough. But once you see the look on their faces when you get back makes it worth it."
Michelle Hill, who was pregnant during her husband's deployment, agreed.
"This one was harder, because I've been pregnant...and [our daughter's] older and she knows that he's gone. She's had a lot harder time with that than the first deployment.
"It makes it all worth the deployment when she gets to see him again."