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Daddy's home

Marine meets infant son for first time

Marine meets infant son for first time

June 05, 2003|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

After seeing his infant son for the first time Wednesday, U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Dereck Robinson remarked that little Robert Lee looks just like his father.

"But he acts like his mommy. He's a good baby," Tammy Robinson quickly chimed in.

On Wednesday, the family experienced a long-awaited reunion as Dereck Robinson, 21, came home from a four-and-a-half month stint in the Middle East.

Dereck Robinson's father, uncle, father-in-law and brother-in-law drove all night Tuesday to Camp Lejeune, N.C., so they could be there to pick him up when his plane arrived.

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They brought him back to Corbett Street in Hagerstown on Wednesday, where family and friends were waiting to welcome him.

Tammy Robinson's daughter, Jaclyn, 6, was the first to greet her "daddy."

"Hi, baby," he said, scooping her up into his arms.

Then he threw his arms around Tammy Robinson, 31, who was holding their nearly 7-week-old son Robert, who slept through most of the homecoming.

Then the dozen or so other family members and friends got their turn. Within 30 minutes, the box of tissues at the ready was empty.

Mary Getridge of Clear Spring didn't wait long before starting to tease her brother-in-law.

"You're not as puny as you used to be," she said.

In the minutes before her husband arrived, Tammy Robinson paced her living room holding Robert.

"I'm nervous. I don't know why," she said.

But the wide smile never left her face. She said she's been smiling since Saturday, when she learned that her husband's homecoming was imminent.

Dereck Robinson heard his son's first cry via cell phone. They captured the event on videotape for him to watch later.

"I wish I could have been here for her," he said.

Before the baby was born, they picked his name and kept it a secret. He got his first name from Uncle Robert Robinson and his middle name from his maternal grandfather.

Dereck Robinson said he didn't see much violence in Iraq. As an ammunition supply specialist, his job was delivering bullets and bombs to the front lines.

It was a tough assignment, though, because of all the sand and the fact that he had to walk about a quarter-mile to eat or shower.

He has to return to Camp Lejeune for a short debriefing on Monday and then he can take leave until the end of September.

For now, Tammy Robinson is on leave from her job as a day-care provider.

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