Soldiers return to Fort Lee after year long deployment in Iraq

By Tara Morgan - bio | email | facebook

FORT LEE, VA (WWBT) - Lots of tears and hugs at Fort Lee as nearly 100 soldiers return home from Iraq.  The soldiers returned from a year long deployment.

The waiting to see their families ended Thursday night.

Sergio Winston couldn't wait much longer.

His nerves shot, Sergio sat and then stood on the bleachers counting down the seconds to his first kiss in a year with his wife, Sgt. Jesaren Winston.

"I'm a little nervous I'm a little kid like it's our first date," said Winston.

The couple has a lot of making up to do.

"We missed our anniversary February 6, but we're going to rekindle that tonight," said Winston.

Tiffany Ashley's husband missed out on a few firsts too with his baby girl, Isabella.

"He's missed her first steps her first words," said Ashley.

The proud wife and mom couldn't contain her excitement either as the 84 soldiers from the 240th Quartermaster Battalion Headquarters and Headquarters Company marched in to the post field house. After a few formalities, It was time to celebrate.

Our camera rolled as Sergio made a b-line for the love of his life.

"It feels so good. It feels really good. It's been a long time," said Sgt. Jesaren Winston.

Just like everyone else here, they'll make up for lost time, including Sgt. Kyle Ashley.

"It's great she got so big," said Sgt. Ashley about his 15-month-old daughter.

Until now, he's been watching her grow through pictures and videos his wife posted on Facebook.

"It's always sad to miss those things. Happy to do it while she was young, start taking her to the park and stuff," said Sgt. Ashley.

Picking up from where they left off, for these soldiers, is a mission they couldn't be more excited about.

"Enjoy each other. That's it, just relax," said Sergio and Jesaren Winston.

The Battalion Commander said this deployment was a dynamic mission.  Their focus was the drawing down of troops in Iraq.  He said the 240th will inactivate in July.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.