By: Holly Brantley
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO --After more than a year in Iraq, the wait is over as dozens of Heartland Soldiers return to their families. Soldiers with the 1140th Engineer Batallion and their loved ones were reunited at the National Guard Armory in Cape Girardeau.
"I'm more excited than I can say in words," said Spc. Lee Smith as he held his young son Trenton. "It's good to be home."
"I'm so glad it's over," said his wife, Reba. "It's great to have him back."
During a short ceremony guard members were recognized for their service. And, they paused to remember those who may not be lucky enough to come home.
For Master Sgt. Matt Jenkins, this tour of duty was his first. He recognized his family and others who make sacrifices when their soldiers are called to duty.
"This is the first deployment and hopefully the last," said Susan Jenkins.
"I am tickled to death to be back here," Master Sgt. Jenkins said.
"I didn't know I would cry when i saw him," said his daughter, Katie Jenkins.
"Me and dad are going hunting tomorrow," Cole Jenkins added.
"Oh yeah," said Master Sgt. Jenkins. "But just for a little bit. My wife wants me to stick around the house but for the next few days I'll be in the woods."
For many of the soldiers it was their first tour, but some had volunteered for their second or third tours of duty.
Meanwhile, this veterans day will have a very special meaning for these soldiers.
We introduced you to the Smith family back in August of 2005 when they sent a third generation off to war. Now, they welcome home a veteran.
"When I got the call that he was back in the states I started sleeping a lot better," said Spc. Lee Smith's father, and Vietnam Veteran, Mike Smith.
Spc. Smith's grandfather is a World War Two Veteran. "I'm just so overwhelmed," said Floyd Smith.