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Three Utah families welcome soldiers home from Afghanistan

"The hardest part of being gone so long is just missing your family, missing the holidays, the birthdays, and the anniversaries,” said Sgt. Greg Herrera.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Family and friends greeted three Utah soldiers Saturday as they returned home from Afghanistan.

Everyone gathered together as they watched and waited for flight 259 to come in.

"It's been a long year," said Johnny Herrera, as he got ready to take his son, Sgt. Greg Herrera, home.    

Herrera's parents say they're grateful to have him back.  His cousin, Rocky Herrera, died from a roadside bomb in Afghanistan almost seven years ago.

This isn't the first time the Army deployed Herrera.  He has also served in Kuwait.

"The hardest part of being gone so long is just missing your family, missing the holidays, the birthdays, and the anniversaries,” said Herrera. 

Now, Herrera says he will not take anything for granted, especially the “little things.”

"I'm definitely going to look forward to having my first smothered burrito," he said.

Herrera’s parents say having him home is like having a weight lifted off their backs. 

"Every time you'd hear on the news that someone got killed in Afghanistan, it just made you sick," Herrera’s father said.

The Herrera family says that while deployment is hard on everyone, making sacrifices for their country is worth it. 

"We take great pride in being Americans and doing our part for our country," said Herrera.  

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