NE Army National Guard soldiers return home after nine-month deployment
LINCOLN, Ne (FOX42KPTM) —
Dozens of Nebraska soldiers are now safely home after serving nine months in the Middle East.
On Thursday, family members reunited with their heroes at Haymarket Park in Lincoln.
Natalie Griner asked her daughter, Evangeline, “Who's coming home today?” and Evangeline replied “Daddy!”
It's been nine months since Griner has seen her husband, Sergeant Lyndon Griner. He's in the Nebraska Army National Guard.
Griner said, "It's time to give daddy a hug yeah?”
Giving their hero a hug is exactly what Griner and her kids did at Haymarket Park.
Dozens of other people were there to welcome home their loved ones as well.
Princess Baeza reunited with her older sister, Sergeant Claudia Rodriguez.
Baeza said, “This is probably the most exciting day of my life. I've been waiting for this for about nine months now so we're very happy to have her back."
Sergeant Rodriguez was also welcomed by her grandma. Rodriguez said, “She came from Mexico so I'm super excited that she's here."
It was a reunion for these soldiers and a time to celebrate their safe return.
Major General Daryl Bohac said, "90 left. 90 came home. That's a pretty good day."
For Sergeant Griner, it was his first deployment. He said, "Our biggest key was to facilitate the intel and deliver it to the commanding general so he could make decisions to go and defeat ISIS."
The sergeant says he’s "very grateful to be home...grateful for everything that my family and friends have done, and then definitely for what my wife has done as well at home."
He says the last time he was home his youngest child, Finn, was only a month old.
Sergeant Griner said, “He's got a personality and everything."
Now that he’s reunited with his family he’s looking forward to “just hanging out, getting to know each other...what's changed over the last nine months."
Sergeant Griner says it should be about five years before he and his unit are deployed again.