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SD Guardman Returns Home To Family

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After spending half a year in Asia, 27 members of the South Dakota Air National Guard came home this week.

The transition from deployment to life at home can be a big adjustment and one family shares their journey with KDLT.

Jerime Olson was reunited with his loved ones on Wednesday, a family that described themselves as close, fun, goofy and full of laughter.

"Oh, my gosh he's home," said Grace.

Grace Olson, just eight-years-old, she was apart from her father, Jerime, for six months while he took on his third deployment in Asia.

Looking back two days ago, she remembers his arrival back home, coming down the escalator.

"I was like Daddy, Daddy," said Grace.

It was an emotional reunion; full of hugs and kisses, for Jerime, Chantel and Grace.

For Chantel, she said she’s thankful to have her husband back for more reasons than one.

"There were so many moments that I just wondered how I was going to do it  and I think I said a million times, you got this, you can do this," said Chantel.

Post-it notes, hung up in their bedroom, served as motivation, some said, “Yes, you did it,” and another said, “Yes, I killed the bat,” in the house.

Even Jerime remembered the frantic call he got during that episode at home.

"My wife did so many things when I was gone, she called me one time and said there's a bat in the house and I said oh, my gosh hunny, what are we going to do and she goes hunny, I have this," said Jerime.

A strong woman who held the family together during his absence and while he was away fighting for freedom, he knows his wife's role is just as important.

"Everyone focuses on the troops that are coming home, everyone says that we're heroes, but you know, the whole family is a hero," said Jerime.

For his wife Chantel, she said having Grace, helped her stay strong.

"People would say is it hard to have a child during deployment. It was the best thing for me, she was a little piece of him, I always had her, she's just like him," said Chantel.

As for Grace, she said there's a lot more fun and laughs in the house now that her Dad is back.

"He's making funny faces a lot like this," said Grace.

One thing Jerime said he's thankful for during his deployment overseas is having WiFi, he was able to face time his wife and daughter everyday for 10 minutes.

While overseas Jerime was a squad leader, back here at home, he works as a mortgage lender.
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