Peter Christine was a month old when he last saw his father.
Ten months later, Peter reacquainted himself Tuesday with his dad, Columbia County Assistant District Attorney Bobby Christine, who returned home briefly from military service in the Middle East.
Peter, his sisters Maggie, 4, and Angelina, 3, and his mother, Sheri, were the first to greet Christine as he stepped through the door of Augusta Regional Airport's Gate 2 while friends and family cheered from the brick courtyard between the gate and the terminal.
Still dressed in desert fatigues, one of the first things Christine did after kissing and hugging his wife and daughters was to pick up his infant son, look at him and say, "Well, he's got a good head of hair."
"The last time Bobby saw him, all Peter could do was smile," Sheri Christine said. "Now, he can walk and has grown so much."
A captain in the U.S. Army National Guard, Mr. Christine has spent most of this year serving as a judge advocate general to the 265th National Guard unit stationed in Iraq and Kuwait.
More than 30 people - family, friends, co-workers and county officials - greeted Christine for his return visit. Many were holding signs that read, "Welcome home Bobby," or "We're proud of Capt. Bobby Christine."
Bobby Christine carries his 11-month-old son, Peter, while walking with daughters Maggie,4, (middle) and Angelina,3.
Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker
"It's a wonderful gift to be here now. It's a wonderful Christmas gift to be home," he said.
He was given 15 days of leave before he has to return to Kuwait to finish out his tour. Christine is scheduled to leave Christmas Day, He said he was unsure how much longer he will be overseas, so he wants to make the most of the time he has now.
He said he truly appreciated the fanfare from the community surrounding his homecoming but added that he wanted to spend as much time as possible with his family.
"I've got to go back after the holidays, but to be here now is wonderful," he said. "I imagine we'll go out at some point, but not for a while."
His wife quickly nixed that notion.
"He's not going anywhere," she said. "When he gets back for real, then we'll have a big party. It'll be easier to share him later."
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