Updated 09/27/2012 09:16 AM
National Guard soldiers welcomed home
A special homecoming for National Guard soldiers returning home from Afghanistan. Soldiers with the 108th Infantry were greeted by loved ones in Latham Thursday morning. Megan Cruz has the details.
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LATHAM, N.Y. -- "When you get in and you're holding your family in your arms, you feel it," said Maj. Sean Flynn of the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment of the National Guard. "You can't, it's just so wonderful when you come home and see your family. You can't put words to it."
Seventeen families found themselves speechless early Thursday morning as they welcomed home their loved ones after 10 long months.
"I just thought up things to say, but now I'm just so excited I don't know what to say," said Maj. Flynn's son. "I really just ran up to him and hugged him."
These soldiers are part of the National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry. They've been doing security missions in Afghanistan since May. They're 17 of around 300 soldiers who arrived home in New York this week.
"I just beelined right to the bus off of the plane and then once we got into Albany and started seeing signs, that's when I knew," said Sgt. Jacob Briggs.
"I was very excited because it was a little sooner than we expected so it was definitely a relief," said Sgt. Jacobs' wife, Natalie.
For Private Gregory Ryan, his family came armed with "welcome home" ammo.
"Tough being away from your family, the ones you love," said Pfc. Ryan. "Not seeing them, waking up alone. You go through pictures a lot."
But now that he has the real deal, it's short-lived.
"I leave for basic training myself on Tuesday so we only get a couple of days together," said Pfc. Ryan's wife, Marikka.
"He's got a big family, so they'll keep him busy while she's away from basic training," said Cindi Kilmartin, Marikka's mom. "She gets to come home for Christmas though, so that's exciting."
The first thing these soldiers will do now that they're home?
"Nothing you can say on TV!" teased Pfc. Ryan's family.
"Grab my children and just enjoy them and take it easy," said Sgt. Briggs.
"First thing? Well, I guess - what do you think? Have breakfast?" Maj. Flynn asked his son. "He wants to watch the Hunger Games."