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Reunited Captain and family enjoy Valentine's Day in Lamar - KOAM TV 7

Reunited Captain and family enjoy Valentine's Day in Lamar

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 For Lindsay and Derek Forst, Valentine's Day is a family day.

 "We missed Thanksgiving and Christmas and stuff like that. I missed  Avery's first," said Derek Forst.  "We got to talk on the phone and stuff like that. This is kind of our first holiday back."

 A captain in the US Army, Forst has been away on duty. He left in June 2012 for training in Fort Hood. Soon after, he and his battalion began its mobilization process, ultimately leading to Afghanistan.

"It had been 20 months since I actually lived at home," said Derek. "It's been a while."

While duty called, a lot was happening at home in Missouri. His wife was pregnant with their daughter Avery.

Derek was able to make it back from Fort Hood for the birth, but this proved to be a fast mission. 

 "I got there about an hour to two hours right before she was born. Spend a few days with her at Freeman and then got to come home and spend a few days with her. And then I had to go back to fort Hood, and then to Afghanistan after that.

While miles apart, the family stayed connected online. Lindsay kept pictures of Derek around for Avery. And she made sure to relish every second with their daughter. 

"Just cherish every moment that I had with her because he was missing out on so much," said Lindsay.

Until this week, when derek came home to his girls and their dog, Rucker.

And so on this Valentines Day, a normal day is a huge gift.  

"Wake up, have breakfast. Watch the olympics on TV. Play with her. Play with our dog. Just being able to be normal for a while," said Lindsay.

Note: To see Derek, Lindsay and Avery's reunion last week, visit United: A Tribute to Those Who Served.

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