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Soldier returns after 10 months in Afghanistan
Meets newborn son for first time
BARSTOW • Capt. Stephen Stewart returned just two days before Christmas, after being deployed for 10 months in southern Afghanistan with the U.S. Army.
Stewart was greeted by family, friends and city officials along with 18 other soldiers at a welcome home ceremony in Bell, Calif.
“I feel very blessed, very fortunate, and I’m glad to be one of those that could actually come home,” he said.
Stewart served in Kandahar, Afghanistan as a Postal Plans and Operations Officer in the 376th Human Resources Company, coordinating mail for the south and west parts of the country. He also oversaw a casualty liaison team that worked at the Kandahar Hospital taking information about those who were injured and notifying chain of command and next of kin.
“Like everyone else I missed my family, being with them and not being completely consumed with work,” he said. “Over there you’re obsessed with work 24-7.”
Stewart was welcomed home by his wife and two boys, Stephen and Noah Stewart. His return meant the first time meeting three-month-old Noah.
“It was very surreal, it was like a dream — the last time I saw them was February 28, 2012,” Stewart said.
He said he’s spent his first days at home taking his sons to the park, watching TV together and even helping with grocery shopping and diaper duty. While apart he said he was able to keep in touch through Skype voice and video calls twice a week.
This was his first deployment overseas after having served in the U.S. Army for 12 years. He was born and raised in Michigan but has resided in Barstow for the last 7 years owning and operating United Agencies Insurance with his dad.