About 70 Army National Guard soldiers returned home to Fresno on Sunday. They served in Northern Afghanistan for ten months. Throughout the day, soldiers flew into Fresno Yosemite International Airport, where they were greeted by family and friends.
Among the dozens of people waiting with signs to welcome home the troops, Emily Schwartz stood, holding her newborn daughter. The baby was all dressed up in her Sunday best for her first time meeting her father.
As the troops arrive, children run into open arms. Schwartz gets to hug Amador Garcia, with their daughter between them.
“Probably the greatest feeling in the world,” said Garcia, a specialist, as his baby cried.
It was a tender moment that was followed with a surprise no one saw coming. Garcia got down on one knee and places a ring on Schwartz's finger. Overwhelmed, the engaged couple tries to put how they’re feeling into words.
“Excited; I don't know, happy,” said Schwartz.
It's the end of one chapter and a new beginning for the young family. Meanwhile, Eric Cabrera is simply happy to see his mom again.
“Yeah I think I missed my mom the most. And my sister, but I missed my mom a lot,” said Cabrera, an Army National Guardsman.
After working transportation missions in Northern Afghanistan for nearly a year, the soldiers say they now have a lot of catching up to do.
“Try to enjoy what I have now in front of me, my family. So, being gone for so long, it's the most important thing to me right now,” said Cabrera.
Garcia says he plans to spend as much time with his daughter as possible.