LORAIN, Ohio – 94 soldiers deployed to Afghanistan for nearly a year returned back home to Northeast Ohio Monday, and not just for the holidays.
"Every night I go to bed I couldn't even sleep thinking about my son, waiting for that phone call, knocking at my door," Mery Graham, mother of one of the soldiers, said.
"I'm so happy the journey is over," Graham said.
The Ohio National Guard's 837th Engineer Company came home to a packed ceremony at Lorain High School.
After, outside the auditorium, there were few dry eyes, many puckering lips and just one message: "We've missed you and we love you so much," said Katherine Rhodes, mother of a sergeant.
This is an extra special homecoming, not just because it's right before the holidays, but because everybody came home.
“It’s relieving everyone made it back. It's good," Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Brandt said.
"It's significant because of the mission they were doing. Not only were they in a very dangerous place, but they were doing a very dangerous mission," said Brandt.
The Company cleared IEDs, also known as roadside bombs.
This holiday the best presents come wrapped in camouflage, and sealed with a kiss.
"It was hard and rough and I'm just happy he's home. I couldn't ask for a better Christmas gift," military wife, Brittaney Brandt, said.