Dozens of Chicago area soldiers are back home, just in time for the holidays.
More than 75 reservists from the 822nd Military Police Company returned from an 11-month tour in Afghanistan. They were welcomed back to the Army Reserve Center in Arlington Heights Friday morning.
"My heart was racing," said Reservist Darryl Branch, Jr. "I was glad to get off the bus and hold my mom, hold my dad and hold my family."
"I'm just so glad to have him home and see how grown up he is." said a tearful Barbara Miller, mother of Sgt. Justin Spangler.
Among those who returned was Army Sgt. John LaGiglia, who surprised his 6-year-old daughter Grace at her school in Chicago's Beverly neighborhoodzHis wife and other relatives gathered at Sutherland Elementary School for the big reveal.
“I’m overwhelmed,” LaGiglia told the Chicago Tribune. “The community has always supported me throughout the year. I’ve been all around the world and there’s nothing like the South Side of Chicago.”