VIDEO: Returning Marine meets son for first time

Marine Corporal Hank Parker meets his son (NBC News)

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WRCB) –  Most fathers get to meet their child for the first time in a hospital, but one Tennessee Marine met his son for the first at an airport Thursday.

Corporal Hank Parker was at sea for more than six months, and during that time his son was born.

On Thursday morning his family anxiously waited at the airport with signs in hand counting down each minute until the emotional reunion.

“Not until you actually see him and meet him do you realize, ‘Wow, that’s real, I have a real son you know?” Parker said.

Parker was there by phone in the delivery room when his son was born, but nothing beats this moment.

“I got to FaceTime and do things like that, but you just sit there and think about every moment wait to get home and see everybody,” Parker said.

When Parker walked through the gates at security he embraced his family and told his daughter ‘I love you.’ Three words that mean so much on paper or on the phone, mean more in person than the Parker family could have imagined.

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