WARRENSBURG, Mo. - It was a warm homecoming for 324 Missouri National Guard soldiers Sunday. Members of the 1-135th "Attack Reconnaissance Battalion" all safely returned to the University of Central Missouri campus in Warrensburg.
As you might expect, cheers and some tears awaited them.
They waited nearly a year, but those final few moments proved almost unbearable. Especially once the families spotted their soldiers.
They sat through the welcome home ceremony with honor and respect, and then finally let out with applause and cheers when the troops were dismissed.
For the Epple family, it was time for Brooke, Avery and Brady to pile on dad. Sergeant First Class Bo Epplee spent the past year in northern Afghanistan managing maintenance.
"It hasn't really sunk in. It was a long time. To see everybody here, and the warm welcome we got today, it was just unbelievable," Sgt. Epple said.
It's a scene repeated throughout the arena as proud families reunited and held on tight.
"They're so happy to have him home. That was the best feeling in the world just to watch them run to dad. Pretty much tackle him," Amy Epple, Sgt. Epple's wife, said.
Now it's time to reconnect for those who served our country and those who served them on the home front, now all back together under the same roof once again.