Several North Texas families were reunited with their soldiers from Afghanistan this 4th of July.
A tailgate party in the Texas Army National Guard Armory may have looked like people were waiting for the start of a baseball game or a fireworks show. However, the families were waiting for eight soldiers they haven't seen for more than a year.
"It was pretty overwhelming and nerve wracking, not used to any kind of family or friends being around for a while. Kind of stuck in an environment where it's being a soldier 24/7. So really getting to let loose for a little bit and see your family and the supporters was pretty amazing to see," said 1st Lt. William Underwood with the Texas Army National guard.
"It's been tough but you know what I'm just again so grateful to God for bringing him back safely," said William's wife Alicia Underwood.
The Texas Army National Guard Soldiers have been stationed in Afghanistan on a training mission. Thursday, they returned to the states but were stranded briefly in Mississippi.
There were no flights available due to the Independence Day holiday so they were given the choice. They could wait until Tuesday for a flight or hop on a bus to get home in time for the 4th of July. After 13 months from being away from their families, they chose the bus to get home quicker.
1st Lt. William Underwood with the Texas Army National guard has missed half of his daughter Greer's life.
"You miss a lot of her life. You see a lot of it on social media on Facebook, e-mail that kind of stuff so there is that around to get that glimpse in to her life but you do get to miss the personal connection you get, it's going to be good to be home and just play around and get to know her again," said Underwood.
1st Lt. Patrick Couch is not only home to see his wife and the birth of their baby. He also has some big plans with his seven and five year old sons.
"Tonight is the day that we get to have fun and get to have our boys night out! We get to play Wii and stay up all night," said Couch's son.
"We thought we were getting dropped off in a parking lot and maybe our families would be here to pick us up cause it was so last minute coordination, so it's really special to see all the folks here," said 1st Lt. Patrick Couch.
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