Tampa Marine returns home to meet baby girl - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Marine returns home to meet baby girl

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Three-week-old Abigael Thornsberry slept in her mother's arms at Tampa International Airport Tuesday morning.

The tiny baby didn't realize what a monumental moment was about to happen, but her mother, Ana, was excited enough for both of them.

"I'm nervous. I'm excited. I'm anxious," Ana said. "I'm just so thrilled to be here right now and be waiting."

The new mom and daughter waited with a group of family and friends for the return of U.S. Marine Cpl. Thomas Thornsberry, holding a sign that read, "Welcome Home, Daddy."

Thornsberry's flight from San Diego was delayed by about 15 minutes. 

When he walked off the plane, he finally got to meet his baby girl for the first time.

"Awesome is the best way to put it," he said. "She's beautiful, just like her mother."

Cpl. Thornsberry has spent the last eight months aboard the USS Greenbay.  He couldn't get leave to make it home for his daughter's birth, but he was there via Skype.

"It was intense. I cried, a lot," he said.

Ana agreed it was emotional and tough not to have him there by her side for the birth.

"We had the whole Skype thing. The nurses were great and technology is just wonderful these days. So it was bittersweet, but it makes for this moment."

The new family hugged and then headed home.  Ana said she has plans to make her husband's favorite meal, corned beef and cabbage.

The couple aren't sure how they're going to celebrate just yet.  Right now, they're focused on bonding.

"I haven't had time to plan anything," Ana said. "Maybe just go to a park and sit down and talk."

After five years as a Marine, Cpl. Thornsberry is finished with his military service. He plans to attend the police academy in the fall.

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