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National Guard Members, Families Reunited

WILLIAMSPORT — About 300 soldiers total have returned to their families across northeastern and central Pennsylvania.

It was the final hours of waiting in the parking lot at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Williamsport.

Families patiently waited to see the men and women coming home after a long deployment.

Wives whose husbands have gone through three, even four deployments.

Kids whose mom or dad have been serving in harm’s way overseas.

All that didn’t matter anymore when 40 members of the Pennsylvania National Guard got off the bus.

“We have waited a long time, we can’t wait to get him home,” said Bree Thompson.

The Thompson sisters hugged their little brother tight. Specialist Stephen Thompson and his unit were deployed to Kuwait since late last year.

“We all made it back, we have one more group coming in, pray for a safe return for them and get us all home,” said SPC Thompson.

For many of the members of the 103rd Armored Battalion, the thought of coming back was what kept them going.

For First Sergeant Frank Jost and his son, the homecoming is a chance to be together again for a long time to come.

“I was really, really, really happy,” said 9-year-old Wyle Jost.

“We deploy a lot, it’s what we do. It’s tough leaving my little guy every few months, looks like it’s over for a while, back together for now,” said First Sergeant Frank Jost of South Williamsport.

After being deployed for nearly a year, many of the National Guard members who were stationed in Kuwait have returned home to their families.

There is one more wave of guardsmen to return home next week.


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