Troops Ring In The New Year Back Home 

Christmas may have been a nearly a week ago, but before the Jolly Old Elf headed back to the North Pole, he made a special stop at Bangor International Airport.Santa Claus and the Misses helped Maine Troop Greeters welcome back 117 Soldiers. The troops were hoping to get back in time for Christmas, but plane troubles and bad weather in Europe extended their travels.Rich Lowney and his wife, Paula, are regulars on the Troop Greeters scene, but decided to spice it up this time by dressing like Mr. and Mrs. Claus for the returning troops.”Just because their flight got delayed a little bit, we’re going to go ahead and extend the christmas spirit to make sure they get it this year.”These soldiers aren’t complaining about missing the holiday season with loved ones, they’re just happy to finally be on their way home.Specialist Valentino Bailey says he’s just ready to get home. “It doesn’t matter what time, what day as long as we’re back home. We’ll spend Christmas every day if we have too.” After a 10 month deployment in Afghanistan, these American heros are headed back home to Hawaii, where the weather is a little different then Maine’s.Sergeant Matthew Patterson is taking in some of the colder weather before he heads back to the Hawaiian sunshine.”Our travels coming back, we were in Germany and it was freezing there… It was pretty cold in afghanistan too. So we kind of built up to the Maine weather. We’re kind of used to the cold and excited to get back home”