Oklahoma Soldier Returns Home To Wife And Two Young Sons After 11 Months

Thursday, December 6th 2012, 10:43 pm
By: Tess Maune

An Oklahoma soldier came back home Thursday after his third tour of duty.

Sergeant Major George Petts volunteered to fill a spot that sent him to Afghanistan, nearly a year ago, leaving his wife and sons at home in Tulsa.

It was the moment the Petts family has been waiting for, for the past 11 months.

"I'm just glad to be home with family, glad to be home," George said.

No one seemed to be happier George was home than his wife, Katie, and two sons, 20-month-old Charlie and 6-year-old Georgie.

One of the first things Georgie whispered to his dad: "You'll get to go to my Cub Scout meetings."

"[I'm] excited, because I was always sad when he was gone," Georgie said.

"It's been really hard on him. Even though he didn't always talk about it, it was really hard. He was sad a lot of the time and just to see the smile on his face and excitement—it's just wonderful," Katie said.

The first time George met little Georgie was in the Tulsa Airport.

He was on leave from his first deployment. He had missed the birth by five days.

Now, Georgie is old enough to understand his dad has been away, working in the Army, though he's not exactly sure where.

George spent the past year mentoring soldiers in the Afghan military, while his sons were in Oklahoma doing what kids do best: growing.

"They're a lot bigger. He can read and the other one can walk, so that was a change from when I saw them last," George said.

While he's thrilled to be home and back to being dad, George said it's still tough for knowing so many others don't have that privilege.

"It's bittersweet. I'm home, but there are still soldiers over there. They'll be in my prayers," George said.

The family is moving to Missouri next month, where Sergeant Major Petts will be stationed.

He's eligible for retirement in two years.