Dayton soldier returns home for emotional family reunion

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The week began with Veterans Day, but new veterans are created and honored every day in this country.

Lt. Col. Roman Underwood returned home to Dayton International Airport today and was greeted by his emotional family and colleagues. 

He is now home following a 7-month deployment in Afghanistan. Underwood returned home to his wife, Cheryl, and his two children Avery, 13, and Brynn, 11. 

Underwood was deployed in April and extended his stay by an extra month to help cover his post until his replacement arrived. 

“I’m feeling overwhelmed,” said his wife Cheryl, “Lots of emotions.” 

The family reflected on how the husband and father had missed birthdays, holidays, and other major events while he was away. They were overwhelmed by his return and planned on spending plenty of time together to catch him up. 

“It’s crazy, he’s missed a lot,” said Cheryl.

The family planned on a quiet night with pizza and a movie. Underwood was excited to finally be able to see “Avengers: Endgame.”

Among those celebrating Underwood’s return was his work colleagues who are all stationed out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Underwood works as a flight test engineer at the Air Force Research Lab as a deputy to retired military comrades such as Frank Albanese. Albanese and Underwood enjoy a friendship based around sports team rivalries and time spent together. 

“It was hard to lose him [when he was deployed],” said Albanese, choking back tears, “He’s a great guy and very supportive.” 

To view photos from the event, view the slideshow below:

Cheryl Underwood said the experience of having her husband on leave was extremely difficult and gave her a new appreciation for military wives around the world.

“You have family for a reason, you have friends for a reason,” said Cheryl. “Now I’m able to help others understand what it feels like to be without [your loved ones].”

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