Fort Drum Welcomes Home 200 Soldiers From EuropePosted: Updated:
More than 200 Fort Drum soldiers reunited with their families for the first time in nine months on Thursday.
For Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Ruisanchesz, that means getting to hold his eight month old baby girl. She was just 12 days old when he deployed.
"It's actually surreal because of how big she's gotten in all the time that I've missed as far as over the last eight and half months," said Ruisanchesz, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade.
The brigade deployed to Germany in early spring to conduct aviation operations. Their mission was to strengthen relationships with Allies and partner nations in Eastern Europe.
"The number one thing that we were there for deterrence, deterring foreign aggression making sure Europe and the continent remains a peaceful, sort steady safe place," said Colonel Clair Gill, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade Commander.
Ruisanchesz's wife, Anita, says she's over the moon to have her husband home.
"The feeling is absolutely incredible, I can't even explain it, it's like meeting him for the first time all over again," she said.
Now that he's home with his wife and family, there's one thing that Ruisanchesz says he has to do.
"One my favorites, especially being in New York, is New York style pizza so we'll probably, definitely go get some pizza tonight," he said.
It's something so simple, but to be able to share that with his family, means so much.