ALEXANDER CITY, AL (WSFA) - Residents in Alexander City welcomed the first wave of the 214th Military Police Unit home on June 10th while nearly 60 soldiers remained overseas because of a mechanical issue with their plane.
The remaining men and women arrived in Alexander City and reunited with their family members just in time for Father's Day.
For little Mary Schroeder, it was a Father's Day she'll never forget.
"This is the happiest day of my life," she says while hugging her dad, Specialist Michael Schroeder.
Mary and her mom Kellie say things were a lot different this time last year.
"He [Michael] left the weekend of Father's Day and it really hurt a little girl's feelings that he wasn't able to be here for that day. [For] him to return on the weekend that he left the next year, it's awesome," says Kellie Schroeder.
Specialist Michael Schroeder says it was difficult hearing his unit would be coming home in two separate groups.
"We don't know why it happened...but it happened."
Now, just being with family is enough to help him forget about it.
"We toughed it out and we dealt with it, and we're all home now, so we're all happy."
Many wondered if the second wave of soldiers would receive the same homecoming as the first.
Alexander City officials urged residents to return and show their support.
They did, as well as soldiers who were already home.
"It's finally complete and everything. We know everybody is ok and safe, and it just makes me feel a whole lot better," says Christopher Harris, a member of the 214th who returned in the first wave.
While many of the men in the 214th didn't know what their families had planned for Father's Day...Mary Schroeder had only one plan for her dad, Michael.
Not every member of the 214th is back yet. 16 soldiers were held in Mississippi for a medical evaluation.