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N.J. National Guard Unit Returns Home From Afghanistan

NJ National Guard soldiers returned home from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan. (Credit:CBS2)

NJ National Guard soldiers returned home from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan. (Credit:CBS2)

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WRIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — More than 60 soldiers from New Jersey’s National Guard are now back at home with their families after a year in Afghanistan.

Specialist Jose Ayala told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan on Tuesday that words could not describe how good it felt to be home.

“I’m so glad to see my family. I am speechless,” he said.

Dozens of hugs were exchanged as soldiers and family members began to catch up with one another after being apart for a year.

“It’s been hard, tough times,” said Rachel Bohn, who was reunited with her fiance.

Jaimie Colon and her fiance, Jeff Johnson, are planning a June wedding.

“It’s been a long year, I’m glad I’m home, very glad I am home,” Johnson said.

The returning soldiers are part of the 119th Combat Service Support Battalion, and their commanding officer, Walter Nall, said that not a day went by in which he didn’t think about the possibility of losing a soldier.

“Every day you wake up and think about their safety, for them to be good, to come home safely,” he said.

The unit’s men and women will spend at least a week on McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey getting re-acclimated to civilian life, before they return to their homes.

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