Soldiers reunite with families in NJ

May 29, 2009 3:47:11 PM PDT
It was another day of joyous homecomings at Fort Dix. In all, 820 members of New Jersey Army National Guard were scheduled to land here today in three waves; including the 328th M-P's from Cherry Hill and the B Company of the 250th Brigade Support Battalion from Bordentown.

For their families, it's been a long year of adjustments while their loved ones served in Iraq.

"My husband, he's been gone since she's been 9-months-old, so she doesn't really know him" Christina Faison of Gloucester, New Jersey, said.

Bud Wilkins and his wife Cathy have been caring for their 3-year-old great niece Liberty while her Mom, Shawna, has been away.

"You're not supposed to send your daughters to war, but when Shawna asked if we could watch out for Liberty, we were happy to do it. She's an angel," Bud said.

The soldiers are able to spend just a short time with their families today. They have to stay on the base for about a week for debriefing before they can go home.

But at least it was a chance to say face to face what so many have been feeling since last June.

"I love you and I'm so glad you came home safely," Genesis Bravo said in regards to her brother.

Between today's homecomings and the one on Monday, about 1200 of the 3,000 New Jersey guardsmen who were deployed last June are back in the sate.

The rest are due back June 10th.

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