Soldier returns home, surprises 3-year-old daughter
HIXSON, HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) - Christmas came early for a three-year-old Hixson girl, who has been without her mom.
Private First Class Marquresha Copeland returned from Afghanistan Monday afternoon to surprise her daughter at Chuck E. Cheese's in Hixson. Channel 3 was invited to be there for the reunion.
"She talks on the phone and she's so old now," said Copeland, standing outside, waiting to surprise her daughter, "I feel like I'm missing a lot."
Stationed in Afghanistan for the last six months, PFC Copeland traveled 14 hours to surprise her daughter, Harmony.
Harmony was as excited to see mom, as mom was to see her.
"I missed you," said Copeland, embracing her daughter for the first time.
"To see her take Harmony, that was just priceless," said Copeland's mother, Teresa Copeland.
"The tears are going to flow again once she leaves, but I've got her today," added Copeland's father, Hubert.
Copeland, who is the sole soldier in a large family, deployed six months ago. She has been able to stay in touch with weekly phone calls and monthly Skype sessions.
She recently recorded a message to air on Channel 3, expressing her love for her family.
"I'm very proud that she did something that I wasn't able to do, and she's enjoying it," said Hubert Copeland, "and she's serving her country, I love her for it."
Another deployment will come with the new year, but for now it's about watching Harmony grow and making new memories to hold on to.
"I just dread the day when we have to ship her off again," said Teresa Copeland, "we're just going to try to get in as much love and joy as we can until that day comes."
Copeland returns to Afghanistan the first week of January.
Tune in tonight at 11 to see the reunion and interview with PFC Copeland and her daughter.