Del. Soldiers Back Home Just in Time for Holidays - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Soldiers Back Home from Deployment Just in Time for Holidays

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (WBOC) - It was a happy homecoming in Delaware Wednesday afternoon, just one week before Christmas, as about 80 Delaware National Guard soldiers step onto First State soil for the first time in months.

The soldiers returning are part of the 198th Expeditionary Signal Battalion. They'd been deployed since May. Their return was months ahead of schedule.

A Southwest plane full of soldiers landed a little after two at the airport in New Castle. The soldiers came down the stairs and found Delaware's adjutant general and governor waiting for them.

But it was other faces the soldiers were most looking forward to seeing.

"I'm really excited," Spc. Jhara Ross, of Laurel, said. "I'm ready to see my family, get back home and get back to my normal life."

"I'm ecstatic about it," said Sgt. Aaron Marshall, of Millsboro. "Because I've been away from my family for a long time now. I'm really looking forward to getting back to my wife and kids.

"I just really want to see my wife and give her a big hug and kiss, "he said. "My kids - I'm going to hold them, hug them and tell them Daddy loves them."

Delaware National Guard officials say the 198th still has more than 200 soldiers deployed to the Middle East. These soldiers came home now because their particular missions were complete. The rest should be back some time in early 2014.

For those back now, there's a lot on the to-do list.

"I'm probably going to sleep. Sleep sounds good," said Ross.

The soldiers got on busses from the airport and went to the armories in Georgetown and Newport, where they reunited with family.

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