Sergeant holiday homecoming

December 25, 2007 9:17:03 PM PST
As Staff Sergeant Ernest Carrington walked through the terminal doors at Philadelphia International Airport Christmas night, his three adoring kids, who've been waiting seven months for this moment, greeted him.Carrington is a member of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and has been serving in Iraq, mainly in the city of Balad, just north of Baghdad.

"It's good to be home, [to] see green trees," Carrington said.

The reunion moved from the airport to his sister's home in West Philadelphia where Christmas dinner was waiting and the prayers of his relatives were being answered.

"Every time I hear the news and they say the casualty count, I just hold my breath. I just hope it's not him and pray for the rest of them there, too," Marion Pray said.

Staff Sergeant Carrington is not only home in time for the holiday, but he's also home to celebrate his youngest daughter's fifth birthday.

He says his children are what he misses most.

"It's one of the reasons I serve. One day, maybe my kids don't have to serve in the capacity I am doing right now," Carrington said.

Although he says there is violence where he's stationed, Carrington says good is being done there as well.

Staff Sgt. Carrington will be home with his family for about two weeks. He'll be redeployed on January 10th. He says he's extremely proud of the work his unit is doing in Iraq and has reenlisted for another six years.