When Army Specialist Joshua Alvear saw his firstborn son for the first time, all he could do was smile.
"Feels good," Alvear said. "Just being in Afghanistan the whole time and never getting to see him. Didn't get to see him born or anything. It just feels great to be back home."
The soldier, just 21 years old, just returned home from a tour to Afghanistan.
His mother Mary Morales waited in anticipation for her son, saying as a single mom, this will be one of the proudest moments of her life.
"I'm just totally proud of him," Morales said. "I wasn't expecting this at all. It was a big turnaround for him. I can still remember the day he told me he was going to sign up, and then taking off. The day he called when he was going off to Afghanistan. It's just great. An awesome feeling for a single parent."
Family and friends came to Brownsville South Padre Island Airport for their soldier's arrival.
VFW representative Arturo Rios said that there is nothing better than a soldier coming home to his family, safe and sound.
"What the government does to let them come home like this, is the best thing that can happen to any young man," Rios said.
Specialist Alvear is looking forward to settling in with his wife and baby boy.
He says coming home was exciting and nerve-wrecking, but all the support overwhelmed him with gratefulness.
"It's definitely a good welcome home," Alvear said. "Good to see everybody out here supporting me, and supporting me the whole time while I was in Afghanistan. It's nice to see everybody here."
A delay of his flight in Houston forced supporters to wait over an hour for Specialist Alvear's arrival.
But they all agreed that seeing their soldier come home safely was worth the wait.