Fort Bliss — Hundreds of soldiers are home just in time for the holidays. The 5th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery are finally back in El Paso after a year-long deployment in Southwest Asia.
An armful of messages full of joy and anticpation, "My sign says Specialist Gamez get over here and give me a kiss," Lisa Gamez of West El Paso tells us. Some, with no signs at all, just banking on a different element all together.
Like Larry McDuffie who is here to see his son, "No, he doesn't know. I'm going to surprise him," McDuffie says.
Families like the Gamez and McDuffie families have been waiting for their soldiers to arrive home for a year. The proud Army dad, came all the way from Macon, GA. He rode the bus for 36 hours and says it was worth it. He hasn't seen his son, Sergeant Joshua McDuffie for 2 years.
"I'm just happy to be here and glad all of them made it back safely," McDuffie says. His son, and Lisa Gamez's husband are with the batallion. Gamez tells us it's been stressful since her husband has left. She had her infant son 3 weeks after he was deployed.
Despite the myriad of emotions, the soldiers were there for a purpose. These soldiers were providing middle defense capabilites with the Patriot Weapon system. Now they're all back in El Paso.
This is their second and last redeployment. The Gamez family is looking forward to traveling to Disney World. While the McDuffie's continue to use the unexpected moments to bring their family together, "Going to see my daughter, surprise her at her Christmas gift party," Sergeant Joshua McDuffie tells us.