For one Middle Tennessee soldier and family separated for a year, the uncertainty of when they would see each other next is finally over.
Army Sgt. Matt Young has been serving overseas in Afghanistan for the past year.
During his 10 year career in the Army and three deployments, Sgt. Young has been in some of the world's most dangerous places and completed many assignments.
On Sunday, Young set out on his most meaningful mission.
"I've never been nervous for anything but this means a lot," Sgt. Young told Nashville's News 2.
For Young, it's been 12 long months away from his family in Tennessee; a year of missed birthdays, holidays and Sunday family dinners.
"I think it's probably going to be a birthday to remember," Young said.
As Young's family celebrated his grandmother's birthday, they had no idea of the gift they would all soon receive.
Young surprised his family with a reunion, two weeks earlier than expected.
"It's been pretty tough sometimes especially knowing some of the places he's been," Young's dad, Danny Young, told Nashville's News 2, "I know he's had a couple close calls so we're really grateful that he's home."
His mother, Belinda Dube Young, added, "Knowing that he loves everything he does, even when it's hard and even when it's scary, his pride makes us feel proud."
Sgt. Young will be home in Tennessee, until he receives his next assignment as a photojournalist for the Army.