Welcome Home Soldiers
Thirty eight men and women return after 10 month deployment in Kuwait
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – It was a special day for dozens of families as moms, grandmas, and sons held their loved one in their arms for the first time in 10 months.
Thirty eight South Dakota Army National Guard soldiers returned home from their deployment in Kuwait.
It was a moment that brought many to tears.
Including Charity Small as she embraced her husband, Bob for the first time since February.
“It was tough sleeping last night; I was up all night running things through my head getting excited, just like a kid getting ready for Christmas,” says Major Bob Small.
Bob’s son welcomed him with a sign that read ‘all I want for Christmas is my dad to come home’.
“I was really happy, I almost started crying. It’s really good to see him again,” says 13-year-old Matthew Small.
But Charity had a special surprise for the soldier.
Since April, the mom of three has been hitting the gym to help with the stress of Bob being away.
She has lost 30 pounds, shedding 20 inches off her body.
“She’s been really good at not letting me see, and I’m really proud of what she’s done,” says Bob.
But Bob says he wasn’t surprised, he knew she could pull it off.
“That’s one of the things I love about her; she’s very strong and independent,” says Bob.
And Bob wasn’t the only one to come home to a warm embrace.
One captain met his 5 month old son for the very first time.
“It’s pretty awesome,” says Cpt. Andrew Delgado.
The 38 soldiers drew in this massive crowd during a welcome home ceremony.
Even though some may not have known the person sitting next to them, everyone shared in the same happiness.
“It’s amazing to see everyone back together again, just the love in the room,” says Charity.
The soldiers in the Sioux Falls-based unit were providing security at several bases in Kuwait.
They returned to the U.S. one week ago.
They were at fort hood in Texas, before returning to South Dakota Wednesday.