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Soldier makes it home from Afghanistan in time for the birth of his fourth child

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Posted: Monday, November 25, 2013 2:00 pm | Updated: 2:37 pm, Mon Nov 25, 2013.

SARASOTA, FLA. - Saturday morning, Jennifer Nickell anxiously awaited the arrival of her husband, Sgt. Tony Nickell, at the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport.

“He has been deployed for about seven months. This is his second deployment within three years," said Nickell.

Tony Nickell is an Army technical engineer stationed at Ft. Bragg. He has been serving an eight month deployment in Afghanistan. During the recent deployment, Jennifer moved her three young children to southwest Florida where she grew up. I asked her to share how she has managed as a single parents of three toddlers for the last seven months.

“I don’t know how I do it, honestly. You learn to go with the flow," said Nickell. Her work flow is about to get a little harder.  On Tuesday, Nickell is scheduled for a Caesarian section birth of their fourth child.

 “It would break his heart not to be here," Nickell told ABC7.

Sgt. Tony Nickell wasn’t due home until next month when the rest of the unit is schedule to return to Ft., Bragg but since he is going to be a new dad, the Army sent him home a month early.

"You guys are so big," Nickell told his kids when he stepped out the secured area of the airport.  Being a soldier and a father can be challenging at times.

“I may have missed a couple of birthdays here and there but I have been here for all the births," Tony told ABC 7.

When his son is born on Tuesday, the Nickell's will have four children under the age of four. The Nickells will spend the next couple of weeks in Sarasota before moving back to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. Next fall, the Nickell's will move as a family once again when Sgt. Nickell is stationed in Hawaii.

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