Hundreds of guardsman reunite with families in Chattanooga
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB)-- Hundreds of Tennessee guardsmen are exactly where they want to be-- at home with their families.
Chattanooga's 230th Sustainment Brigade arrived Wednesday evening after a year-long deployment in Kuwait. This group of around 300 men and women from the 230th Sustainment Brigade was part of nearly 800 missions overseas. They logged about 12.5 million miles on Iraqi highways.
Those coming home said they what they had to and now they couldn't be happier to be at back on U.S. soil with the ones they love.
We showed you the heartbreak this time last year, as these same families sent their loved ones off to the battlefield. Now a year of anticipation leads up to this. As every one of them returns, there's nothing but smiles.
"Nervous. Excited. It's been a year. I'm ready to have my husband home," Angela Parrish said.
The soldiers arrived by bus after leaving Camp Shelby in Mississippi early Wednesday morning.
"It's always hard being away from your loved ones," Trey Parrish said.
For some it was a homecoming more than a year in the making, like for Staff Sgt. Kenny Botts, who's had back to back deployments since 2004.
"It feels great. We did what we had to do over there," Staff Sgt. Kenny Botts said.
His kids are estatic to finally have dad back.
"My dad is my superhero," Omer Botts said.
"You can't put it into words," Sierra Botts said.
"I missed them. It's just great to be back home with them and hopefully not go back again," Sgt. Botts said.
For many families it's a homecoming, Christmas and New Year's celebration all in one.
"We're doing Christmas tonight. My son waited to open his gifts till he's back," Angela Parrish said.
It's excitement mixed with a sense of relief.
"Peaceful," Trey Parrish said.
Many of the soldiers say they will enjoy every minute of their time here back at home until the next orders come in.