Military mother reunites with son, step-children, husband

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A flight delay and a job a world away couldn't keep one Jacksonville mother from reuniting with her family Saturday.

With tears in her eyes and First Coast News broadcasting live on-air, Elizabeth Delalla embraced her six-year-old son and husband Andrew at Jacksonville International Airport after a 7-month deployment in Kuwait.

Elizabeth is a specialist in the military and Andrew is also in the military, a Sergeant 1st Class.

"She is the absolute rock and foundation of our house. Sometimes you don't know what you have until it's gone," said Sergeant 1st Class Delalla at the Jacksonville International Airport.

The couple has been married eight years. Delalla says he's deployed before, but this was his wife's first time.

"It seems like when she was in charge of the house everything continued to work seamless now that I've been in charge of the house I'm keeping things together on a shoestring," said Delalla.

Before Delalla's deployment to Kuwait she also fought for custody of her husband's 17 and 14-year-olds.

"It kind of broke me down a little because I know they really needed a mom," said Delalla as she spoke about how hard it was leaving right after gaining their custody.

The kids welcomed her home with balloons and even left the Christmas tree up to celebrate and open gifts with her.

"We're finally a family again," said Christian Delalla, 14.

Specialist Delalla says being away was tough, she had experienced her husband's deployments before, but this time she was the one overseas.

"Now I know what he's been through, he gets to know what I go through every day," added Delalla.

Now that she's back everyone's looking forward to Mom's cooking.

"I want to cook, I really want to cook for my family," added Delalla.

And her husband has no complaints with that plan.

"I just want to say God bless America and God bless my wife," said Andrew Delalla.


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