Soldiers, sailor return home in time for the holidays

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.-- Thirteen United States Marines and one sailor returned home Friday from spending the past several months serving in the Middle East.

They were greeted by friends and family Friday afternoon at the Navy Operational Support Center in West Palm Beach. Loved ones of the soldiers say they were happy their servicemen were coming home just in time for the holidays.

Lydia Sims of St. Cloud drove down to see her husband, Sergeant Michael Sims. She says, "I feel like the night before we got married. Just so excited!"

Sims gave birth to her baby, Jude, while her husband was overseas. She says it was one of the toughest things she's ever done. When her husband met baby Jude for the first time, they shared an emotional moment. Sgt. Sims says, "It's nice to be home and meet the little guy."

Spouses and family members tell us they feared for their soldiers most of the time they were overseas.

Michelle Brand says there were several weeks when she couldn't even talk to her husband, Sergeant Eric Brand.

Her 4-year-old daughter, Serena, she says had an especially tough time dealing with her Sgt. Brand being away.

"It's hard to explain to a 4-year-old why her dad doesn't want to come home. She understands he went to work, but she said ‘I just want you to come home. Why won't you come home?'"

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