Soldiers return home from nine-month deployment just in time for Christmas
Another wave of Fort Wainwright soldiers returned home just before Christmas. More than 130 soldiers from 574th Composite Supply Company came home after a nine-month deployment in Iraq.
Families anxiously awaited the arrival of their loved ones, ready for all the normal activities they get to do again with their spouse, friend or parent.
Grace Ruiz says she is excited for her husband to come home. "I'm looking forward to cooking for him, cuddling with him, making sure he feels good and spoil him."
Faythe Wood says this is the first time her dad was deployed since she was little. She said the hardest part was getting used to him being gone, “not waking up in the morning and him being downstairs, because he’s always the first one up.”
Wood says over the past nine months, she not only had her birthday but also she got her license. She says she is just so excited to have him home.
PFC Austin David Goldrick says he is ready to have his friends come home, "to see them and hang out with them, talk about what they experienced over there, and they'll probably ask us about what we were doing back here."
One family even flew up from Florida to surprise their son. Parents Laura and Alfredo Moreno flew up to Fairbanks, Alaska with their son Stefan’s girlfriend Teari Palmer to be there to welcome him home.
"We want to be here for his first deployment, super proud of him. We miss him so much. So do all our friends and family. We had to make the trip. I just can't wait to hug him. It's been too long," said the Morenos.
Teari and Stefan had been dating for five months online, but this reunion was their first time meeting in person -- a special moment for the two to meet, and his parents to see him after more than nine months, just in time for the holidays.