Touching moment soldier meets his baby daughter for the first time
2023/07/11

Heartwarming moment soldier returning from Afghanistan meets his baby daughter for the first time

Captain William Lotts filmed meeting his 3-month-old daughter Finley for the first time after 9 months in AfghanistanBy Daily Mail ReporterPublished: 18:10 BST, 8 November 2013 | Updated: 18:14 BST, 8 November 2013 e-mail 14ViewcommentsA heartwarming video has captured the tender moment a soldier returning home from Afghanistan met his baby daughter for the first time.

His face filled with joy, Captain William Lotts gently cradled four-month-old Finley - kissing her, nuzzling her and staring at her in awe as his tearful wife, Brittany, looked on.

The soldier finally held Finley after safely completing a nine-month deployment in Ghazni and returning to his family in Fort Drum, New York.

'She felt pretty light, new and fragile,' he said, still reeling from the experience. 'It felt pretty amazing.'

Meeting daddy: Captain William Lotts kisses his four-month-old daughter Finley after meeting her for the first time, as his wife Brittany looks on. He returned from a 9-month deployment to Afghanistan

Joy: His daughter, who was born in July, nuzzles against him as he holds her for the first timeBrittany was just 15 weeks pregnant when he was sent abroad and she gave birth to Finley in July.

Good Morning America charted the couple's journey, meeting with an emotional Brittany before flying to Afghanistan to speak with Capt. Lotts, who said he couldn't wait to meet his first child.

'It's pretty hard,' he told Josh Elliott. 'You only have the birth of your first child once.'

Wiping away her tears, his wife added that the day he returned home would be 'one of the best moments of my life'.

'He'll be home and he'll be safe,' she said.

Reunited: Lotts and his wife, who was 15 weeks pregnant when he left, embrace after 9 months apart

Excitement: Brittany had previously said his return was going to be 'one of the best days of my life'

After his base closed as part of withdrawing troops from the area, Capt. Lotts was pictured aboard a plane grinning as he described his excitement.

Back in New York, video captured the moment he embraced and kissed his wife, before she introduced him to his daughter.

As he kissed and hugged the baby girl, Brittany said: 'I love seeing him with her. It's the sweetest thing ever.'

After spending some time with his family, Capt. Lotts visited the GMA studio where he proudly gushed about his new role.

'It's been great,' he said. 'There's nothing like being a dad. There's a wholeness and fulfillment that's unequal. It really transcends anything I can put into words.'

The show's Operation Homecoming also followed Sgt. Michael Fuller as he reunited with his wife Jesse and their son Brantlee, who was just two weeks old when his father was deployed.

Anticipation: Good Morning America had followed the couple's journey. Lotts is pictured on his flight home

Waiting back home: On meeting Finley, Lotts said she felt 'awesome' - 'very light and fragile', he added

Together: He later spoke of his joy at being back home and said 'nothing is like being a dad'

She admitted that she was 'going to be a big cry baby', while her husband said he knew he would only see his wife and son when he walked into the crowded meeting room.

It also charted the return of Major Mike Stewart and his wife Jennifer, who cared for their children, two-year-old Patrick and 6-year-old Izzy, while he was away.

As he returned, his daughter picked him out from a crowd and ran towards him, and his son said he wanted to go home and watch television with his dad.

'My couch with these critters on it - I would do anything for it,' he said at the prospect.

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