And It made for a very special homecoming.
Camera crews were in place for a story that was supposed to be all about Ryan's return.
But, amid the warm, tight hugs with Ryan's wife, Brooke, and his five-year-old daughter, Tara, came word from Brooke that their family was about to get bigger.
"My water just broke," she said.
Brooke, who's been raising Tara alone, as so many military spouses do., just couldn't wait any longer. "We need to go!" she stressed.
And on they went, straight from the airport to Genesis Medical Center in Davenport, Iowa, where Halley Denise Anderson was born on Wednesday, only hours after her daddy's return from the streets of Ramadi -- a true hero's welcome.
"I kept saying that all along -- she's going to be stubborn and wait for him, because there were so many close calls," Brooke recalled.
"I'm still on cloud nine," Ryan says. "I don't think I"ll come down for awhile. I'm back with my family, and I've got a new baby. Everything's perfect!"
For her part, Tara says she's really glad, too: "I feel really excited, because my dad is here and I have a new baby sister. ... I love her."