Updated at 4:53 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12:
Fort Drum (WSYR-TV) – Approximately 300 soldiers were welcomed home to Fort Drum on Thursday.
The 10th Mountain Division greeted the 1st Brigade Combat Team back to the base during a special ceremony.
Family and friends such as Andrea Munsell and Brittani Roth waited eagerly to see their loved ones who had been in Ghazni Province for nine months, where they developed local security forces.
“It's my first time seeing him since he's been deployed because we didn't get to Skype so this is very exciting,” said Andrea Munsell.
“I had butterflies right when I was coming through the gate and my heart just dropped because I knew what I was picking up,” said Brittani Roth.
You wouldn’t be able to tell by just looking, but Andrea and Brittani were complete strangers almost a year ago.
But, when their husbands were sent to Afghanistan they created a special bond that helped them through the toughest time in their lives.
“It has been hard learning to do things on my own. I had to get accustomed to him being gone,” Munsell explained.
The long months turned to just days and as the minutes ticked by, the moment they and so many others had been waiting for finally arrived.
Their husbands were home.
“This is the best feeling in the world, definitely overwhelming getting to see my daughter and my wife,” said Sergeant Travis Munsell.
“It means everything the greatest gift in the world I could have,” said Specialist Bradley Roth.
For Andreas husband Travis, the best gift of all was seeing his daughter walk for the first time.
“This is the first time I’ve seen her this big. It’s amazing, she's walking and she's so beautiful,” Sgt. Munsell said.
A defining moment for the Munsell family as they head back home to Indiana to begin a new journey together.