500 troops with the /*640th Aviation Support Battalion*/ will be making their way to California over the next few days, including about 100 soldiers from right here in the Valley.
It's the single largest return home for CNG soldiers since President Obama announced plans, last month, to bring troops back before the end of the year.
Thursday afternoon, the families of 40 soldiers welcomed their loved ones home, including the family of Sgt. Vince Miller, who will spend his first Thanksgiving holiday with his family in three years.
"It feels wonderful," said /*Sgt. Vince Miller*/. "I'm glad to be home."
Miller served as an airframe mechanic in Taji, Iraq. He said he worked 16 to 18 hour days, 6 days a week for the last 368 days to repair battered Blackhawks and other aircraft.
"It's been tough being away from family," said Miller. "Busy, continuing the mission."
This while his wife Maryleigh looked after their three children. She said this is the first time her 22 month old son saw his Father's face outside of a computer screen.
"DaDa is through skype," she said. "And my son knows when he says goodbye, to close the laptop. It's going to be interesting to see how they interact and he realizes DaDa is no longer in the computer."
It didn't take their son long to adjust to his Dad being back. After a little coaxing, Father and son shared a touching moment. They were in for a big surprise when they got home.
"I have tri-tip slow cooking in the crock pot for him so the whole house will smell like tri-tip when he gets home," said Miller. "I think we're all going to take it easy and I'm so excited to see him with our kids."
More than 20 soldiers with the 40th Combat Aviation Brigade will fly in to /*Fresno Yosemite International Airport*/ Thursday evening. A total of 50 more soldiers are expected back by the weekend.