New Jersey News

NJ's last National Guard troops in Iraq come home

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It was an emotional day in New Jersey for some local members of the military and their families who returned home.

They were the last New Jersey National Guard troops to leave Iraq.

Tiny babies seeing Daddy again, big hugs that don't want to end, and kisses that don't end, this was welcome home.

"I love him. I miss him," said one mother.

One mom was over the moon to have her baby son home safe.

"(How old are you, baby boy?) Uh, 29 and 275 pounds, big baby boy!" the National Guardsman joked.

For Rachel, 24, and staff Sgt. Jeff Stich, 25, it's been a tough 6 months as a young family. Baby Kylee is now almost one.

"It's amazing to have him home," said Rachel Stich, Jeff's wife.

"We were supposed to be home in February so this is a blessing in itself," Sgt. Stich said.

He says it was historic and surreal driving out of Iraq.

Staff Sgt. Rogers, from Manahawkin, begs us not to forget those who are not here.

"There's still a war in Afghanistan, please don't forget those who are not here, okay?" said Staff Sgt. Justin Rogers, now home from Iraq.

For now, Master Sgt. George Sikaffy who's served 22 years says to honor our patriots by appreciating everything, family, freedom, even food.

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new jersey, u.s. military, new jersey news, michelle charlesworth
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