Troops shocked after well-attended homecoming - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Troops shocked after well-attended homecoming

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Terrence Abner runs toward his daughter after returning from a 9 month deployment. Terrence Abner runs toward his daughter after returning from a 9 month deployment.
Soldiers leap off stage to hug loved ones at the Fort Deposit National Guard Armory. Soldiers leap off stage to hug loved ones at the Fort Deposit National Guard Armory.
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FORT DEPOSIT, AL (WSFA) -

It's a day hundreds of people have anticipated for months.  The 781st Transportation Company left for Afghanistan 9 months ago.  They returned to the open arms of friends and family.

You couldn't miss them!  Three charter buses filled with more than 120 soldiers rolled into Fort Deposit and marched into city hall.

After a short ceremony and some encouraging words,  the men and women scurried to find their families.

Except for Barbara Abner who had trouble finding her husband. Until she and her daughter finally spotted him.  Her daughter took off running and jumped in his arms.

"We're just happy, we're so excited. We're glad he's back!" says Abner.

"It's just a great feeling. The warm welcome to welcome you back, ya know, so you just have to enjoy," says Staff Sgt. Terrence Abner.

Many say this is their second deployment, but this homecoming beats them all.

"It's a good feeling.  We didn't expect this kind of turnout. It's nice to see people care," says Robert Fontenot.

Some families say they waited to celebrate Christmas Day until the day their soldiers could be there with them.

"We have Christmas presents waiting for him," says Barbara Abner.

"All Christmas is left up at his house.  It's all decorated for him, inside and out," says Jane Holley to her son, a soldier.

While in Afghanistan, the 781st conducted transportation missions and performed security duties.

Many say they often found themselves in harms' way.

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