For the past year, Rhea Ross and her family have been watching the calendar. Her fiancé is one of the hundreds of soldiers in the 2nd Battalion Eighth US Cavalry who spent the last year in Iraq and Kuwait.
On Sunday, the long wait was over.
"Facebook and Skype are amazing, without that it would have been even worse," Ross said.
A year without a father meant more responsibilities for her oldest daughter, Tara.
"There is no other parent, so I am having to watch them while they are working and stuff during the summer," Tara said.
While Sunday was all smiles, the soldiers were a part of history. Lt. Col. Robert Rodriguez says the group was the last combat battalion to leave Iraq in December of last year.
"We've talked about forming a legacy in what future generations like my son are going to see when they see visual depictions of Iraq, especially in the closing days," Rodriguez said.
More troops will return from Kuwait throughout this week.