You hear that song because we are getting ready, now, for a very special diversion, "operation homecoming." We showed you their stories on thursday. We've been looking forward to the reunions, josh.... See More
You hear that song because we are getting ready, now, for a very special diversion, "operation homecoming." We showed you their stories on thursday. We've been looking forward to the reunions, josh. It was a labor of love. A passion project to be sure. The reunions got us all, every, single time. We saw them on television. I wanted to trace a moment back on both sides. And it became a whole lot more, as I got to really meet these families. Both upstate new york and over in afghanistan. We traveled there and back again, to look at the hardships and the sacrifices made by all these heroes, as they defend the freedoms we hold so dear. Today, you see the moments that made the sacrifices worthwhile. Military homecomings. So beautiful. Patriotic and quintessentially american. And never failing to conspire the soul. Daddy. Reporter: And in just a few minutes, three families are going to experience that singular joy. Nine months. I'm kind of getting nervous. Like, I don't think I would. But I don't know. Like, I'm just so excited to see him. ♪ Reporter: To fully appreciate this moment, we wanted to trace it back in time. So, we met with three military families. And then, we flew to afghanistan. To meet with their husbands and fathers. Staying away from her has been pretty hard. Staying away from the kids has been even harder. Reporter: With two young kids, little patrick and 6-year-old izzy, jennifer stewart runs a tight ship. While husband, major michael stewart, serves in ghazni afghanistan. I can't wait to tell him how absolutely certain and unquestionably thankful I am to have found the person I am supposed to be with. And sometimes you don't know that until that person isn't close enough to tell. Reporter: Jesse fuller and her husband, michael, had a baby boy, brantley, last december. Sergeant fuller deployed to afghanistan just two weeks later. I'm a big cry baby. Reporter: You are? Definitely. I'm sure I will be tunnel vision. Everything will be black around me. And I'm just going to see her and my son. Reporter: Brittany lotts and her husband, captain william lotts, had their first child in july. But captain lotts was in afghanistan when his baby girl, finley, was born. He has yet to even meet her. Knowing you weren't going to be there for the birth, what was that like? It was pretty hard. I mean, you can't -- you only have the birth of your first child once. It will probably be one of the best moments. Of life. 'Cause he'll be home and he'll be safe. Reporter: As part of the u.S. Military drawdown, we witnessed the soldiers close their base in ghazni. This time, for good. Then, it's wheels up from afghanistan, bound at long last, for home. Yeah, I'm really excited right now. Reporter: It's been nine months. And now, that moment of joy and love and completion has finally arrived. Left. Left. Left. I cannot keep myself together. Reporter: And then, just like that, there's nothing that can hold the 6-year-old back from her father for even one more moment. Go. Go. Oh, my goodness. How are you? Reporter: And then, rightfully, it's her mom's turn. Hi, baby. I missed you, honey. I missed you, too. Reporter: For sergeant fuller, it's tunnel vision, that search, as if in slow-motion, until success. And for all they knew or really cared, captain lotts and brittany could have been the only two in the gym. I'm a little rusty. You want to meet finley? Honey, it's daddy. It's daddy, sweet girl. We're going to watch tv. I'm so excited. We get to watch tv. Reporter: Sheersly, how does a couch sound right now? My couch, with these critters on it, I would do anything for. Reporter: What do you think, 270 days later? Just like me. I'm patient. I seeing him with her. It's the sweetest thing ever. Reporter: How did she feel? She felt pretty light. New. And fragile. It felt pretty amazing. We are honored to have the heroes with us today. Captain lotts and his family. And captain stewart and his family here with us today. You know, the one theme that echoed both in afghanistan and here at home was that all of you just didn't want to feel forgotten. And I know we've been at war for so long now, that it was important. And so, I just want to thank you, first of all, for letting us tell your story. It has been a wonderful experience to have. And I want to start with you. How was it? We saw. But how's it been with your little daughter, finley? It's been great. You know, there's nothing like being, you know, being a dad. There's kind of a wholeness and fulfillment that's unequaled. And you know, it really transcends anything I can put into words. She getting heavier? A little bit, yeah. She's just like her dad. She's going to be, you know -- she's pretty long for her size, for her age. Terrific. It's the everyday things. A and, jennifer, I know you said, this day was going to be bigger, the reunion, bigger than your wedding day. Why? Because I think we mentioned this when we were together, when you get married, you're in the church, you have the anticipation of what is coming. But when you've been married, you know what you have. And I just could not wait to have that back. And we know that. And it's what every military family wants. And it's what we all wait for. And when we get it, it's the sweetest thing. How have the critters been? How's the couch, mike? It's awesome. It started 7:00 the next morning. Patrick's in his crib. He said, daddy come get me. And it was -- you know, I was back. Look at him. When that happens, you're back. And the two of these kids have been absolutely awesome. And being back with jen, everything's back to normal. And we're completely good. I know jen and brittany both, and jesse, as well, talked about the fear of your husbands abroad. They are at home now. If nothing else, it's another chance for all of us to thank all of you, all of you, for your service and your sacrifice. And thank you for letting us be a little bit a little part of your lives for a few days. Thank you. Thank you very much. and I know, robin and sam both, military children. You know this life real well. I can't even say anything right now. And it's thank you for representing the hundreds of thousands of men and women who do what you showed us every day. Fight for their country, come back to their families and are amazing, marvelous people. And it's truly the family. The family's in the service. I look at the wives and the children. And I remember my mom, at home. It's great. Thank you. I always used to say, I was in the marine corps for 20 years, too. Slightly different. Great memories. Thank you, all.
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