2009-11-11 / Front Page

Army mom reunited with 9-month-old son

by JESSICA L. FINCH Associate Editor

Ashley Inzinna, right, and her son, Kayden, arrived in Buffalo on Thursday and were greeted by her mother, Lynn. Inzinna has been serving a tour of duty in Iraq the past six months, leaving Kayden with his grandmother. Inzinna will deploy to Afghanistan in 11 months. Photo by Scott Schild Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Ashley Inzinna, right, and her son, Kayden, arrived in Buffalo on Thursday and were greeted by her mother, Lynn. Inzinna has been serving a tour of duty in Iraq the past six months, leaving Kayden with his grandmother. Inzinna will deploy to Afghanistan in 11 months. Photo by Scott Schild Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Ashley Inzinna held her 9-month-old son, Kayden, recently — for the first time in six months.

Thousands of miles separated the two while she served a tour of duty in Iraq.

A specialist with the U.S. Army, Inzinna, 22, returned to Fort Riley, Kansas last month, and her mother, Lynn, flew there with Inzinna’s son, whom she was caring for while her daughter served overseas.

“I was in shock,” Inzinna said about seeing Kayden for the first time since he was 3 months old. “He was so big, he remembered me.”

Mother and son returned to Getzville on Thursday and were greeted by family members at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

“Welcome home Ashley,” and “Thank you for serving our count r y, ” the banners read. Family members held red, white and blue balloons, and waved small American flags.

Inzinna landed around 5 p.m., just in time for dinner. She said the food at home is something she looked forward to while in Iraq.

“There is no good food over there,” Inzinna said, adding that her first stops will be John’s Pizza and Subs for a chicken finger sub, and Tim Hortons.

Her mother had prepared a large family dinner to celebrate her daughter’s homecoming. Lynn was also excited to see her grandson.

Inzinna enlisted in the Army three years ago after graduating from Williamsville North High School.

While serving in Iraq she was sent on night missions. She also worked with Iraqi Girl Scouts, teaching them first aid.

Her return home will be brief. She is scheduled to return to Afghanistan in 11 months.

“It’s been a good experience,” she said.

Three months after giving birth to her son, Inzinna joined her unit, serving the final six months of its tour.

“I am so proud of her,” Lynn said. “The Army has helped her; she has matured so much.”

Thanks to the Internet and a Web cam, the Inzinna family has been able to keep in touch. They showed Kayden his mom through the Web cam and kept photos around the house and his crib. Lynn would say prayers with him for his mom.

The family reunion was a blessed one.

“We were really nervous how he would react, but when he saw her in the airport he threw his arms up,” Lynn said.

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