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Dec 7, 2013 7:46 PM

Soldiers hold their babies for the first time after mission in Afghanistan

TUCSON-More than 100 members of the 860th Military Police Company from the Arizona Army National Guard are home at last.

The troops spent nine months training the Afghan National Army but have been away from their loved ones longer.

Friends and family welcomed them back at the Valencia Armory Saturday morning.

April Gage couldn't wait to see her husband Alex and introduce him to their son.

"He's going to meet his daddy for the first time today," said Gage.

Alex has been in Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

"Been a long time coming, but he's coming home today," said Gage.

Gage said Alex saw their son's birth through Skype.

"They talk everyday on Skype, so I'm pretty sure he knows his dad he knows his voice," she said.

Now almost six months later, Liam James finally gets to meet his dad in person.

"I'm extremely anxious and excited. I just can't wait to hug him and for him to see his son," said Gage.

As the soldiers arrived and marched in, families let out a big cheer to welcome back their loved ones.

Gage rushed to greet her husband, and Alex got to hold Liam for the first time.

"Feels really good," he said."It was very difficult, but I'm thankful that I had internet and Skype to actually be able to see the birth. I'm thankful for that."

Alex isn't the only one seeing his baby for the first time.

"It's a beautiful feeling," said Christian Perez.

A feeling Perez will be able to experience time after time now that he's back home.

"We're grateful that he's back with us and that everybody came back safe," said his wife Katherine.

It's a sense of relief shared by everyone here.

"It's been hard, but we just put everything in God's hand," said Gage.


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