Updated 12/12/2012 10:48 AM
20 local soldiers return home in time for the holidays
It was an emotional homecoming overnight as 20 local soldiers were welcomed home by loved ones at the New York State Armory. With the holidays upon us, people there tell our Megan Cruz it's the best present they could ask for.
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LATHAM, N.Y. -- Cheers and tears as 20 Capital Region families welcomed home loved ones who've been serving overseas with the New York Army National Guard.
It's been close to a year since Private First Class Sam McGrath got a kiss from his girlfriend.
He along with the 19 other soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry have been in Kuwait since January.
"It feels great," said Private First Class Sam McGrath. "It's been a long-time coming. I feel awesome."
A total of 150 soldiers came home to New York Wednesday. They flew into Newburgh, then the 20 here were bused to Latham.
Given their 3:30 a.m. arrival at the Armory, McGrath said he didn't expect much of a welcome committee.
"It definitely surprised me a little bit. I didn't expect such a turnout," he said. "But definitely a great surprise."
And the homecoming couldn't have come at a better time: just before the holidays. First order of business, "Drink a beer!" said McGrath.
A well-deserved chance to relax, but really, he says all he wants for Christmas is, "Being around family, definitely."
The YNN family is also happy to welcome back one of our own: Engineer Jeff Eyer. We thank him for his service, and it's great to have him back.