12/18/02 - The Best Gift

One Heartland family is celebrating the birth of twin boys, two new little ones to celebrate the holidays with. But there will be one less person in the Kelley household this Christmas. The dad is in Afghanistan, fighting for our country.
Ronda Kelley says, "It's kind of depressing this year. We wish he was back here with us, but we'll make it." Kelley hasn't seen her husband Steven, in more than four months. A sergeant in the Army, he was called to Afghanistan August fifth.
It's safe to say a lot of things have happened since then. His wife of seven years gave birth to twin boys, Jonathan Michael and Jason Daniel December 12th. Kelley didn't get to talk to her husband until the next morning. "He was happy, he was glad everything went okay. It's hard to remember," she says.
But Sergeant Kelly didn't have to wait that long to see his sons. "One of the guys over there was nice enough to let him use his computer so he got to see pictures over there," she says.
Thanks to the Internet, the proud new dad was able to see Jonathan and Jason within hours after they were born. "He kept going on on how cute they were and everything, but it was a very limited phone conversation," she says.
Limited phone conversations is all Kelley has had with her husband. She doesn't know exactly where he is in Afghanistan. Sometimes he gets to call home twice a week, but many times he's limited to one phone call. It's not just the twins he wants to know about, Ronda and Steven have two other boys, three year old Steven and two year old Robert. Kelley may be able to come home in February. Until then, pictures and babies online are the only ways he can see his sons. "I couldn't be prouder of him, that's where he needs to be at this time," Ronda says.
Ronda and her husband are originally from the Heartland, but they live on a military base in North Carolina. Ronda came back home to have the babies, and plans on staying here with family until her husband comes back.