Maine Troops Get Heroes Welcome 

For the families of more than 60 soldiers who have been serving in Afghanistan for the past year, the holiday season just got a whole lot better. Their loved ones returned home safe and sound today.It’s been a long year for the members of Bravo company’s 172nd Mountain Battalion. They’ve been in Afghanistan fighting Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces. This past year has been equally tough on their families. But it’s about to get better. The 172nd is home for the holidays.Harriett Cain is here to get her son Specialist Eric Cain “It’s like Christmas when you’re a kid waiting for Santa Claus. And I did go in and thank him. That’s all I wanted for Christmas was my son.”Jennifer Noll is here for husband E4 Specialist Josh Noll. “I’m so excited my nerves are just taking over. It’s crazy. I didn’t feel like this day was ever gonna come.”Husband and father Specialist Anthony Soucy has his wife Danielle and infant son Cayden anxiously waiting for him. “It’s been a long year and we’re ready for him to come home,” says Danielle Soucy. “It’s been a long time he hasn’t seen his baby since May.”Anthony and Danielle Soucy’s son, Cayden, wear’s his excitement on his shirt which reads, “Outta My Way!! I’m here to get my Daddy!!!”It wasn’t just families that turned out. Alf and Bear were also there. We first told you about these two dogs last May. They saved members of the 172nd battalion by chasing down a suicide bomber and are now living comfortably here in Maine. The two dogs are here to greet their old friends. Anna Cannan was instrumental in getting the dogs out of Afghanistan. “I think they’re gonna be very happy to see him and I’m sure you’ll see that when he comes through the door. They’ll respond right away,” she says.While the excitement builds, the soldier’s bus is on the way from the airport. The news that their loved ones are on the ground in Bangor spreads through the room. “Very excited!! I just did a happy dance!!” says Jennifer Noll.The soldiers receive a heroes welcome. Then they hear the words they’ve waited a year for. “Dismissed!!”Specialist Josh Noll runs into the arms of his wife Jennifer Noll. “Amazing,” says Specialist Noll. “I can’t describe it. Just as happy as can be.” Specialist Eric Cain is greeted by his family but part of him is still in Afghanistan. “It’s a relief, it’s been a long year,” he says. “I’m glad to be home. I’ll be glad when my wife gets home too she’s deployed to afghanistan. It will be a nice new year when she gets home.”Specialist Anthony Soucy is all smiles as he holds his infant son he hasn’t seen since May. “Ah it’s awesome. Unbelievable feeling. It’s been a long year but now we’re back together again and it couldn’t be better.”For the soldiers and their families, plans for the holidays are already set. “Be with each other as much as possible,” says Specialist Noll.