They've been gone for nearly a year. Ten and a half months to be precise. Members of the Army National Guard 10–72 Transportation Company based in Fresno returned to a heroes welcome.
They've been on the road since March 15th. The Army unit spent 9 months of its tour in Afghanistan. Sunday their families came to the Fresno airport armed with balloons and signs to show their love and support.
Rashad Small was met by his Mom and girlfriend. "Kind of nervous, trying to adjust to everything. Glad to see my family and friends. A lot of support around here. You know I feel a lot of love."
Small's mom Gwen Brown flew a long way from home to experience the homecoming moment. "Oh my God it's really great. I'm so proud of him and what he's accomplished but it's just so great to see him. I'm from Georgia so I flew out here today. So it's just great to see my baby."
Everywhere you looked in the airport lobby there were hugs. Some short, some long. Bobby Soto delivered a hug and a thank you to every family member who showed up. "It's the greatest thing in the world. I have my family here. I have everybody here that loves me and supports me and it's an unbelievable feeling."
American Legion Post 509 sent a contingent to welcome the troops and say job well done. Joe Sanchez couldn't be happier. "It's surreal right now. It's like shell shock, but it's cool it's a good feeling."
The soldiers say they can't wait for their first home cooked meal and to sleep in their own bed.
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