SALT LAKE CITY — A soldier who was deployed to Afghanistan while his wife was pregnant with twins returned home Thursday and met his sons for the first time.
Sgt. Phillip Bassett returned with the Utah National Guard's 624th Engineer Company, 1457th Engineer Battalion. In all, 150 returned, including 15 new fathers. Bassett has been waiting for seven months to finally meet his twins, Nolan and Hudson.
"He didn't even look at me — he looked at the babies," Kristina Bassett said.
Bassett said his goodbyes to his wife of only eight months in June when he was deployed to Afghanistan. She was six months pregnant at the time.
The boys came in September, and Bassett watched the birth through Skype and got to know Nolan and Hudson through photos.
"I wanted to be there," he said. "I missed the whole newborn stage when they snuggle and lay on your chest."
"I missed the whole newborn stage when they snuggle and lay on your chest."
Bassett kept busy during his deployment constructing buildings in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, but Kristina said his hard work wouldn't stop once his mission was complete: Kristina has been teasing her husband about helping with diapers "for about seven months now," Bassett said.
The family has seven months to catch up on.
"We're gonna do some cuddling, some wrestling, some raspberries," Bassett said.
This was the first deployment for the unit. There were about 150 soldiers coming from both Price and Vernal.