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Emotional reunion at soldier homecoming

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 11 2014 09:30:18 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 11 2014 10:26:24 PM CDT

It was a long year for many families in Berks County.

CUMRU TWP., Pa. -

It was a long year for many families in Berks County.

More than 100 soldiers returned home after serving a year in Afghanistan.

They filed out of a plane in Harrisburg and boarded buses en route to Berks County, where family and friends were there to greet them.

It was a moment worth waiting for as bus after bus filled with soldiers returned to the Army Reserve Center in Cumru Township to be greeted with open arms by friends and family.

For some soldiers, it was the first time they held their child.

"Ugh, I cannot even. I waited six months to meet my baby girl and see my son and my beautiful fiance," said Army Reservist Terry Speck.

"It is mind blowing. It is crazy," said Army Reservist Jeremy Brendel.

For others, it was a long awaited homecoming after leaving right after high school.

"As soon as we got off, all the family members, just being there, being supportive the whole time, there is nothing like it really," said Army Reservist Nia Gadsden.

And for many, the hero's homecoming was a chance to embrace family members who have supported them over the past year overseas.

"I am ecstatic. It has been a long year away from my wife and my family," said Army Reservist Matthew Sherwood.

"For everyone who supported us while we were gone, care packages, letters, all of that it was phenomenal. I thank everyone for that support. It was great, it kept the soldiers motivated and kept us going everyday," said Company Commander Mike Griffie.

In addition to looking forward to spending time with their families, some of the soldiers tell us they are actually looking forward to eating some food they have not been able to have in almost a year.