This holiday, many of you are out on the hunt for the perfect present, but one local family found out the best gifts of all can't be found under the tree.
When SPC Josh Odom landed in the United States his mother was shopping and his dad was working with no idea their son was home from Iraq. He didn't tell them because other planned trips home had fallen through and he didn't want to let them down again.
Nearly one year ago we first met Josh Odom, a soldier with the Florida Army National Guard’s Alpha Company. He was meeting mobilization head-on. In February, we caught up with him in Fort Stewart, Georgia preparing for battle and dealing with deployment. Now, his tour of duty has taken him to Kuwait, Baghdad and the front lines of war.
SPC Odom is home on furlough, which came as a surprise to his family.
"I got on the phone and it was Josh and he said, ‘Dad what do you want for Christmas?’ I said for you to be home. Then the phone went dead and I turned around and he said Merry Christmas Dad," said Randall Odom.
Josh is leaving the battlefield behind for nearly two weeks; quality time his family knows is precious time, for they will have to let him go once again to fight for freedom.
"Absolutely America's finest, he's loving he's done a good job raising him that's what I want people to know."
In a few short days, Josh will leave behind his family unit to join the one he left on the battlefield.
His sister says faith pulls her through.
"Feel like a peace of you is missing, prayer gotten me through," says his sister, Lacie.
With his stocking hung by the chimney with care, Josh's family says God does answer your prayer.
SPC Josh Odom says since he's been home he's eaten at almost every restaurant in town, and says he is eager to get back to his boys he left on the battlefield. His unit has been told they will come home in February.