Garland Soldier Meets His Daughter for First Time

Happy homecoming after 10-month deployment to Africa

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Lila Jackman, 7 months old, met her father for the first time at DFW Airport when he returned home on leave from active duty overseas. (Published Friday, Oct 26, 2012)

    It isn't every day you get to meet your daughter for the first time.

    "They have never met," said Allanna Jackman, of Garland, about her daughter Lyla, 7 months, and her husband Chad.

    Army Specialist Chad Jackman was deployed to Africa in January as a member of the Army National Guard based in Terrell.  His daughter Lyla was born in March.

    Allanna Jackman was at DFW International Airport's Terminal E bright and early Friday, eager for a happy reunion.  And an even happier introduction.

    "We haven't slept in about a year, but mostly this week," Jackman told NBC 5.  "[Lyla] hasn't been napping.  She knows something is coming.  She's been excited.  We've been way exicted."

    Thankfully for the Jackman family, the cold front coming into the region did nothing to delay United Airlines Flight 4578 from Cleveland.

    Right on cue, minutes after touching down just after 9 a.m., the automatic doors parted and Spc. Jackman - Daddy - emerged with a smile from ear to ear.

    "He is way nervous and excited," Allanna Jackman said, moments before her husband arrived.  "This is our first born, so he's nervous about being a dad.  But he'll jump right into it.  He's been a good dad for the past year, or seven months, and now he'll come home and be a good father."

    Jackman spent his first moments with his daughter holding her in his arms, practically speechless.  After hugs and kisses, he did have this to say - "It's a wonderful feeling."