Parents reunite with daughter after months of deployment

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -  Owen and Andrea Freeland have been deployed overseas for almost seven months.  But, they came back in time for the holidays to pick up a special gift from Keesler's Child Development Center.

"We want to go see our baby.  It's been a long seven months," says Owen Freeland, father.

The Freelands are parents to two and half-year-old Kiera Freeland.  For the first time in months, Kiera's going home with her mom and dad.

Kiera's "grammy" walked in first, leaving Kiera to believe she was going home to her grandparents like any other day.  But, moments later, in walked Kiera's mom and dad.  There were plenty of hugs, tears and kisses to go around.

"We dropped off a baby, and we have a little girl now," says Owen Freeland.

She's a little girl who's now 3 inches taller and has a lot more to say these days.

"Her speech and social interaction has improved so much.  She counts, sings Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and she didn't do all that before," says Andrea Freeland.

And the Freelands say they have a lot of people to thank for the positive changes in Kiera's life.

"We're thankful for the family here at Keesler, and we're not even assigned here," says Owen Freeland.

They also thank "Grammy," Owen's mother, Wanda, who quit her job to take care of Kiera.

"For me it's going to leave this huge hole in my life.  We've become good buddies.  We've done everything together.  I didn't have a little girl.  I had two boys," says Wanda Freeland.

The Freelands say being with their daugther in time for the holidays is a gift they will always hold dear to their hearts.

Additional Information: "Grammy" or Wanda Freeland also had her husband Tom to help take care of little Kiera.  Owen and Andrea say the Child Development Center and deployment services on Keesler have been incredible through this process.  They will now move from Nebraska to South Carolina for their new assignment.