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National Guard Soldiers Home From Afghanistan Face Next Challenge

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By Ileana Diaz

NEWPORT, Del., (CBS) — A happy homecoming for dozens of National Guard members in Delaware returning home from duty.

The soldiers landed at the New Castle Air National Guard base Wednesday afternoon to head back to Ggeorgetown and Newport.

Few words describe what their feeling.

“It’s better to have him here with us where he belongs,” family member Pam Sardo said.

You can hear the cheers of excitement, see the tight hugs, kisses and even tears of joy.

“You know that feeling when you wait for something for so long, that after a while you kind of forget how it feels like — but it feels great,” Specialist Brian Cisneros said.

Sergeant Matthew Morrison feels the same way as he holds on to his girlfriend and sees his daughter for the first time in a year.

And while it’s all smiles as these soldiers reunite with family, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel released plans to cut $75 billion to the military over the next two years.

“Reduced resources and a challenging and changing strategic environment requires us to prioritize and make difficult choices,” Hagel said.

Those choices could mean reducing personnel, closing bases, reducing health benefits for veterans and their family as well as changing war tactics, surprising those who just served overseas.

“For what a soldier does for their country, the least they can do is get something in return for their health and their family,” Specialist Cisneros said.

And while it could affect thousands of families in the near future, these families are focused on the now and taking in this moment they’ve been waiting for, for months.

“As long as he’s here with me and that’s the most important thing right now, so we won’t worry about that until we get there,” Sardo said.

There is some good news, 80 soldiers came home today and CBS 3 is told that 200 more will be coming home from Afghanistan on March 1st.

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