Updated 09/24/2012 06:41 AM
Teary-eyed family, friends welcome soldiers home from war
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During a ceremony at Fort Hood Sunday, families welcomed back more than 100 of their loved ones from Afghanistan.
For Marina Camaro, a mother of a Fort Hood Soldier, a yearlong deployment ended with a sprint across the gymnasium’s basketball court.
“It feels good, it feels great, I'm very thankful that he is back now," she said.
Camaro hugged her son on the court as if to ensure the moment was real.
Two soldiers in the returning 96th Transportation Company, 4th Sustainment Brigade did not make it back to Fort Hood. Army Staff Sgt. Robert A. Massarelli and Sgt. Michael Strachota were killed after an explosion in Kandahar.
The company had the duty of transporting heavy equipment throughout Afghanistan.
For the group of soldiers, it was a long-awaited reunion.
"I was just looking for my family, that's all, trying to find them, butterflies everywhere,” Spc. Antonio Campa, said. “I think it is a dream, but it feels so real."
Jennifer Rico has served the country in Iraq, but on Sunday, she waited for her husband to return from war.
"It's really hard, especially when he is just coming back,” Rico said.“I just want to spend time with him."
But Rico kissed her husband knowing she will be the one leaving soon.
"Last year I was one of the last ones to leave from Iraq, one of the last ones, and now I'll be going to Afghanistan," she said.
This week, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta spoke about the US transition in Afghanistan. Roughly 68,000 Americans remain in Afghanistan alongside NATO and Afghan partners.
Panetta says all US troops will be out of the country by 2014.