Sergeant Spencer Chambers, US Air Force First Maintenance Squadron Metals Technician, returned home after a six-month deployment in the middle east to hold his two-month-old daughter, Xanthe, for the first time.
On October 12, 2017 Chambers landed at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia, with a warm welcome from his wife, Samantha Chambers, two-year-old daughter Anzee, and seven-week-old baby girl Xanthe.
The couple are originally from Oneida, TN, both graduated from Scott High School in 2009. Shortly after graduation they married, and Chambers the Air Force. The family then moved to Virginia where Chambers was stationed.
Samantha says she can’t forget the day the call came for her husband to be deployed.
“I didn’t think it was true, I couldn’t believe it,” she recalls. Samantha was 33-weeks pregnant with the couple’s second child, now seven-week-old Xanthe, when Chambers was deployed.
With only a 24-hour notice of her husband leaving, Samantha says she had mixed emotions. Having no family support in Virginia, she decided to temporarily move to Tennessee where the couple’s family resides.
“It’s difficult being far away from family in Tennessee so we just came home until Spencer got back,” Samantha said.
Since Chambers was stationed somewhere in the Middle East, the two had planned to facetime the birth of their daughter. Samantha says Xanthe had other plans, as her delivery went too quickly and they were unable to connect with each other in time.
Chambers was present for the birth of their first child, Anzee, and Samantha wishes he could have been there for Xanthe also. She recalls being scared without her husband there, but her family was there to comfort her.
“I was scared, and you really want the dad to be there,” she said.
Approximately thirty minutes after delivery, Chambers could see his baby girl for the first time. Samantha says she was happy to have a healthy baby, but something didn’t feel right.
“I was happy, but I just felt like something was missing, “Samantha stated.
Seven weeks later the call came that the family had been waiting for, Chambers would be coming home.
“We were so happy, but we didn’t know for sure when he would be there,” Chambers said. “We just knew it would be soon.”
Once Samantha knew her husband’s plane would be landing, the family hurried to welcome him. She remembers Chambers being the last person off the plane, and the anticipation was extreme. She describes Anzee’s reaction to her father as priceless.
“She ran through the crowd, and jumped up and gave him a huge hug,” Samantha said.
An even more amazing reaction came when Sergeant Chambers took Xanthe in his arms for the first time. Samantha says the moment was perfect, and she was happy to have her husband home to catch up on time the precious time they had missed.
“I was just so happy for him to be able to hold her,” she said. “He had missed so many little things; She was already smiling. You can’t get that back.”
The couple are now residing in Virginia with their two daughters and they are catching up on lost time. Neither are certain of when Chambers will be deployed again, but both believe it will be soon.
Chambers spent six months in the middle east in participation with Operation Inherent Resolve with members of the 27th Aircraft Maintenance Unit and the Virginia Air National Guard Airmen assigned to the 192nd Fighter Wing.