“There’s a sense of pride in every homecoming, no matter who you are and who you’re connected to and who you’re not connected to,” says mother Jen Cook waiting for her son, Garret Benson. “It’s just the fact that they’ve been there and done that for us, but having one of my own it’s a whole new feeling.”
Cook and her family are waiting for her son and the rest of the 133rd Engineer Battalion to finally make their way to Augusta.
“He’s been gone a long time and he’s coming home safe,” says Benson’s grandmother.
“I loved that he’s served,” his mother adds. “We’re a military family, we’re three generations and I’m proud that he got the opportunity to do what he wanted to do.”
After a 10-month deployment in Afghanistan, emotions are surging.
“Oh my goodness so many butterflies,” says Jenny Phillips. “I’m shaking I’m so excited”
For Phillips, homecoming coincides with another special occasion.
“This is our sixth wedding anniversary. It’s so exciting I wasn’t sure if he was going to be home to celebrate but I’m so glad that he’s going to be here.”
A relief many people seemed to share as they make it to the final countdown of their soldiers’ return.
And finally, the moment arrived. Coming together with loved ones, some even for the first time.
“Well when he left I was only ten weeks pregnant, now she’s four months old,” says Canaan Norton. “I just want him to meet her. I’m just really proud of him and someday she’ll be able to look back and be proud if him, too.”
This battalion made it home just in time to celebrate the country they are serving.
“I think we just need to relax and catch up now, and go and do the things we like to do.”
“I can’t wait to get back into the groove of things and spend time with them.”