Army soldier returns after nine months in Afghanistan, came home to baby girl

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LUBBOCK, Texas — It was a bright day and shining day at the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport late Tuesday morning. Pacing back and forth, John Prado, a Vietnam War Veteran.

“Last night I might have slept two hours,” Prado said.

Watching the clock tick closer to 11:45 a.m., Prado is anxiously awaiting his nephew, Sgt. Christopher Prado.

“Nine months ago we were with Christopher in Charleston–in Fort Bragg, North Carolina and we were there with him because he was getting deployed,” Prado said.

Raised by his grandparents, Christopher graduated from Coronado High School five years ago, where he met his now wife Alli. Then on August 24, 2015, he joined the army.

“We’re happy. We’re proud of him. And the man was in the military and then reenlisted again,” Prado said.

Christopher was deployed to Afghanistan nine months ago. John said he prayed for his nephew everyday. John and Christopher’s grandfather welcomed him with a large banner and a round of applause.

“I honestly was surprised. I had no idea they were doing this. It was great to see my grandpa. I haven’t seen him going on a year,” Christopher said.

Afterward, Christopher rushed outside to meet his wife, embracing each other.

While he was away, Alli Prado gave birth to a baby girl–Gabriella, now just ten days old.

“It was upsetting not being able to be there, but with my leadership there, they allowed me to Facetime my wife and doctors allowed me to Facetime her, so I was still there just not physically but I got to watch everything. See everything go down so it was 16 hours of being on Facetime,” Christopher said.

Alli said she is proud of doing so much for not only his family, but his country.

“He’s gonna be an amazing dad,” Alli said.

Christopher will only be home for the next thirty days, but he plans to make the most of it.

“Probably just eat and spend time with family. That’s what I’m most excited about,” Christopher said.

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