Separated for nine months by thousands of miles, it's now only the width of a gymnasium.

After a short ceremony, husbands, wives and children are finally back in each other's arms once again. 

"I have missed him like nobody's business," said Kendra Matthews, wife of 1st Lt. Leroy Matthews.

"It was fantastic. The whole community came out to welcome us home and bring family and friends together. Can't ask for anything more," said Capt. Eoghan Cullen. 

The soldiers are the final members of the 1st and 2nd Brigade Combat Teams to return. 

Their nine months overseas were spent training Afghan national forces and not without cost. 

The 2nd BCT commander called the homecoming "bittersweet."

"The five members of the brigade who aren't able to do this today. So that kind of brings home the reality of our business and the dangers of our mission," said Colonel Dennis Sullivan.

As Fort Drum commander Major General Stephen Townsend told the soldiers, "You've been doing America's work."