Air Force

July 20, 2012

March-based soldiers return from year-long deployment

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Story and photos by Sgt. Tracy Ellingsen
304th Sustainment Brigade

Sgt. Carlos Guzman holds his daughter Jessica, 2, outside Ontario International Airport shortly after returning from his deployment.

ONTARIO, Calif. — They waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, after a one-year deployment to the Middle East, soldiers from the 380th Transportation Detachment were reunited with loved ones and friends at Ontario International Airport on July 12.

The soldiers flew in from Fort Hood, Texas, where they had spent a week out processing and going through medical checks. Before arriving at Fort Hood, the unit had spent the last 11 months coordinating transportation for coalition forces in both Kuwait and Afghanistan.

“I’m nervous,” said Brandy Villacorta, as she waited for her husband Staff Sgt. Nelson Villacorta to come off the plane. “It feels like he has been gone forever.”

For the Villacortas, the first order of business was a good night sleep after a week of traveling. After that, Brandy had some plans for her recently-returned soldier.

“There’s always a honey-do list,” she said. “This place fell apart as soon as he left.”

The March Air Reserve Base headquartered unit will take the next few weeks to reunite with their families before beginning a series of seminars in the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, which links recently returned veterans with resources and programs to assist with the return to civilian life.

Spc. Vardon Reyes and his girlfriend Angelina Serna share a moment while waiting for Reyes’ luggage at Ontario International Airport.

Staff Sgt. Nelson Villacorta embraces his wife Brandy at Ontario International Airport.

Staff Sgt. Elias Zubia is greeted by his 4-year-old daughter Delilah in the living room of their home. Delilah stayed up past her bedtime in order to be able to welcome her daddy home and show him the card she had made.




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