Emotional family reunion for 983rd Engineer Battalion soldiers home after year-long deployment

Published: Feb. 7, 2019 at 11:28 PM EST
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Happy tears flowed as families welcomed home soldiers gone for about a year. Thursday afternoon soldiers who are part of the 983rd Engineer Battalion were honored after landing at the Grand Aire at Toledo Express Airport.

It's been a long year for the 170 families who spent it apart.

Welcome home banners, balloons...hugs and kisses. But mostly, everyone was feeling:

"Relieved that it's over," said Sara Patton.

Her husband Isiah was deployed as a combat engineer. Isiah and Sara have been married just over a year. They have two little girls: Delilah, she's two, and Kennedy who is four months old.

"I got to come home, but just for the birth. Then I had to leave again. She's [Kennedy] already starting to sit up by herself and then she's [Delilah] talking really well now. You just miss a lot. It's really hard," said Isiah Patton.

Thursday a welcome home ceremony honored their service. These combat engineers were overseas for about a year and were deployed in parts of Syria, Iraq and Kuwait. Soldiers part of the 983rd Engineer Battalion worked at about 12 different job sites, helping hundreds of combat soldiers, even assisting those tackling ISIS.

"We did everything from support air fields to build housing for more soldiers to come," said Joseph James Feiler. He's the Senior Enlisted Advisor to Commander.

And now that it's over, the focus for most is on the kids as families are whole once again.