There's nothing like being with loved ones this holiday season especially if that loved one has just spent a year a half a world away. These military families say this happy homecoming is the perfect gift.
After a six month courtship, Niki Sapp of Aston, PA married Nick Porcellini on March 9 of this year.
"I didn't sleep last night. This is my Christmas present. He is absolutely the best Christmas present I will ever have," Niki said. "A week or so later we went on our honeymoon took a cruise and came back and had a going away party and he left. That was it."
When the Army National Guard's 198th Expeditionary Signal Battalion returned today in Delaware after a six-month tour in Afghanistan, she got her wish.
Nick went two months at Fort Bliss, Texas, then to Kandahar, Afghanistan, a war zone half a world away. The newlyweds kept in touch as best they could via Skype, but Niki says it wasn't easy.
"I had to just hold onto hope and that's what you do. You occupy your mind because your mind will drive you crazy because of all the unknowns. So I work and filled my days with activities," Niki said.
"It wasn't fun, let's put it that way and now this. This is perfect. That's all I care about is being with my wife," Nick said.
Nick is just one of about 80 members of the Delaware National Guard's 198th Signal Batallion to return home from the war zone. In each case., they have their own stories of sacrifice and of reunion.