‘The happiest thing in the world’: Fort Carson soldiers return home from deployment

FORT CARSON, Colo. (KKTV) - About 200 soldiers were welcomed home early Friday morning after being deployed for nine months.

About 200 soldiers were welcomed back to Fort Carson on Friday, Oct.11, 2019.

For one soldier, he made it back just in time.

His wife told 11 News reporter Jenna Middaugh that she was in labor during the homecoming ceremony.

“I’m ready for him to get here and have her,” said Yvette Castillo before the ceremony started.

Castillo said she and her husband, Joseph, found out they were pregnant right before he left.

“We found out Friday and then he left on Sunday,” Castillo said.

She told 11 News she was nervous that her husband wouldn’t make it back in time, but she’s so grateful that he did.

“It means everything!”

Castillo said she and her husband were heading to the hospital as soon as he got home.

“We’re ready to go soon,” she said.

Castillo’s husband was one of about 200 soldiers who returned to Fort Carson Friday after spending nine months in the Middle East. The soldiers were deployed as part of Operation Spartan Shield.

Among the hugs, smiles and tears of joy, many new dads were meeting their babies for the first time.

Pfc. Jeffrey Sawka and his wife, Krystal, embraced as he was introduced to his 2-month-old son.

“It’s a lot,” said Sawka. “I’m so proud of her, what she’s done without me. I’m so proud of him being a little trooper. Just the happiest thing in the world.”

Krystal Sawka said her husband came home at just the right time.

“I’m really happy, honestly,” she said. “I’d rather him be away for the summer holidays and Easter. I’d rather him be home for Christmas and Thanksgiving because those are the family holidays.”

Other dads were looking forward to being home for Halloween.

“This little one likes to dress up as Mario, so it’s going to be fun to watch,” said Spc. Brandon Fracasso as he held his son.

During deployment, Fort Carson said the soldiers improved security throughout the Middle East and cooperation with other military units. The soldiers participated in the “Eager Lion” exercise in the Kingdom of Jordan along with more than 8,000 other people from 30 nations.

“I had fun over there,” Fracasso said. “We had a good team, and I’m just glad to be back with my family.”