KEWANEE, MO (KFVS) - How far do you travel for the holidays? Across state? Across country? Those serving the United States of America, sometimes have to travel a lot farther to make it home for the holidays.
Ashley Perez is serving in Afghanistan, and hasn't seen her family in months, until this week. She was supposed to arrive home Thanksgiving day, but her travel plans got pushed back, and she finally arrived home in the Heartland Monday afternoon.
Perez says she's thankful to be home.
"It's the greatest feeling ever, I can't explain it, it's the greatest joy in the world to be able to come home and see my family," said Perez.
"So excited, so excited, thrilled, and I couldn't wait to see her," said Perez's mother Lisa Dalton.
Perez's brother, Jared Dalton, and sister, Aubrie Dalton, say they are always glad when their sister comes home.
"Cause we do a lot of things together, and we don't normally do that when she's gone," said Aubrie Dalton.
"It's like the best thing in the world to me," said Jared Dalton.
"It's just wonderful to know she's right down the street, and if I want to go see her, I can go see her," said Perez's grandmother Lenda Pearson.
Perez says even when she's worlds apart, she thinks about her family.
"I'm always thinking you know, what would it be like if I was back home," said Perez. "I wonder what my little brother and sister are doing, what my mom and dad are doing, my grandma doing, always curious what's going on back home without me."
And her family says, they feel the same way.
"What can she be doing?" said Pearson. "Is she waking up, and getting ready to go out on maneuvers, or is she in the mess hall, or what is she doing, you know I think about that."
"I do cause it's not like fun without her home or anything," said Jared Dalton.
"Cause I'm scared of what's going to happen to her in Afghanistan," said Aubrie Dalton.
"We're constantly worried about her wondering what she's doing," said Lisa Dalton.
Perez says she will get to stay in the Heartland for the next two weeks. During that time she wants to go shopping, and hang out with her family.
She says even though serving her country takes her away from her family, she's glad to be doing it, and couldn't imagine anything else.