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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