Hundreds of soldiers welcomed home

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DOTHAN, AL (WTVY) -- Hundreds flooded the Houston County Farm Center Saturday evening, to reunite with loved ones in the 186th Engineering company out of the Dothan National Guard.

After a year of deployment, they were ready to come home.

The reunion was hit with a few delays after the group returned to the United States.

General Thomas Vickers says they had no choice but to travel from Fort Bliss in Texas to the Wiregrass.

General Vickers tells us, "That was their return mode station, where they return to come off of active duty, and they chose to ride the buses back so they could get here sooner. If they would've wanted to get a plane, the only available one was next week, so they chose to get here as quick as they can because they want to see their families."

For many families, it was a long wait at the farm center, including Cathy Bell. Having the buses delayed a few more hours is nothing compared to not having them home for the last year.

Bell says, "It's disappointing, but makes you happy knowing anyway that at least they get to come home and they're all safe."

For Robin Whitley and her two sons, the delay might cut down on family plans, but it wasn't going to dampen their spirits.

"We're a little bummed out that it's a little bit later, cause we were going to surprise our family, but you know, we're just too excited for him to be home to be upset about anything," said Whitley.

And for Naomi Mays, the feeling for having her son back is nothing but indescribable.

Mays tells us, "I'm just thankful that all of them are back home safe and sound with their loved ones, it just means a lot to us. I feel like I'm on cloud 9 million and 9, and that's a feeling that will never go away."

And for each family, the return home came at a fitting time, as our nation spent time this week celebrating its independence.



 
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