More Green Mountain Boys land in Burlington - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

More Green Mountain Boys land in Burlington

Burlington, Vermont - December 13, 2010

After more than a year fighting a war in a foreign land, dozens of soldiers from the Vermont National Guard came home Monday morning.

The waiting is almost over. "I probably will cry. I am an emotional person. I will hug him," said Vt. Air Guard Airman 1st class Samantha Diehl. Diehl can't wait to hug her dad. She joined the Air Force while her father was fighting a war in Afghanistan. "It's been tough because he left during basketball season and he was my biggest fan. He missed my graduation. It's been tough but he has always told me to be a tough person," she said.

And strong, like the families who waited for this moment since last December. "This is second time around. I have had enough. I want him to be home. I am ready for him to be home. I just want to take him and go," said Sonja Lambert. Letting go even for a few minutes was not easy for the Lambert family, and just about everyone at this welcome home ceremony.

There were long hugs, new babies to hold, and tears of joy. The mission was over. About one-third of the 15-hundred Vermont troops are now back in the Green Mountains after a year at war. "I think we are going to leave some lasting affects there. We did a lot of good stuff over there. Hopefully we hope to get the place going there for future units that are coming in there. We started some new outposts," said Vt. National Guard Sgt. Peter John Pizzagalli.

After one last formation, a thank-you from their commander. "For the last year you have been out in front of Afghanistan -- a job well done. To the families, I want to say thank you for your resilience, your great attitudes and I know it's been a tough year but the families have been so supportive of all of us and all of you," said Vt. National Guard Major General Michael Dubie.

Home is the next stop. "It's an awesome feeling," said Vt. National Guard 1st Sgt. James Diehl.

There will be big stories to tell and catching up on the joys of everyday life -- glad to be home again, reunited with family and friends in a country they love.

The next homecoming is scheduled for tomorrow night when nearly 100 guard members are expected to arrive around 7:30 p.m.

Anson Tebbetts - WCAX News

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