Soldier Comes Home Just in Time for Son’s Birth

By Mark Geary, Reporter

Sergeant Jessica Swiser holds her newborn son, Sebastian, while her husband, Staff Sergeant Shaun Swiser looks on with their dog, Cabuqui. Staff Sergeant Swiser is on a brief break from his mission in Afghanistan. (Mark Geary/KCRG-TV9 News)

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By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Iowa National Guard soldiers stationed in Afghanistan right now will miss plenty of moments in Iowa while they complete their mission. But, every soldier gets the chance to come home for a few weeks.

Sergeant Jessica Swiser, 27, and her husband Staff Sergeant Shaun Swiser, 30, are both in the Iowa National Guard. They were supposed to deploy together. Then, Jessica got pregnant and had to stay behind.

The Cedar Rapids couple feared Shaun wouldn’t be back for the birth. But, he made it home just in time. Sebastian Swiser was born on December 27.

“Through the entire time, I thought, ‘Thank God I was able to make it home for this and be able to see this. I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for this moment,’” Staff Sergeant Shaun Swiser said, “It was an amazing experience. It was something I thought would never happen in my life. I’ve been wanting this for so long.”

Now, the family is back home enjoying the little time they have together before Shaun has to return to Afghanistan.

“Having Shaun there was a blessing beyond belief,” Sergeant Jessica Swiser said. “When we’re here at home and Sebastian does something goofy, we share the laughs and just enjoy the moment.”

So far, the baby has been totally healthy and brought nothing but joy to the new parents.

“He’s not too fussy…except when you’re changing him. Other than that, he’s a pretty calm guy,” Staff Sergeant Shaun Swiser said. “He’s a perfect mix of both of our personalities.”

The couple know their time is limited and they treasure every second they have together.

“Just picking him up at the airport, I was having visions of me holding a newborn and saying goodbye to my husband,” Sergeant Jessica Swiser said.

When Staff Sergeant Swiser returns to Afghanistan, he’ll face plenty of challenges, but none will be as tough as being apart from his wife and son for the next seven months. He’s serving with the HHC 234 IBCT based out of the Bagram Airbase.

“I know I’ll be able to make it back before too long. The job over there keeps me busy, so the time is going to fly. I know it,” he said.

Staff Sergeant Swiser will head back to Afghanistan at the end of this week. The next time he’ll be with his family again will be in July when his mission ends.

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