Bay Area Soldiers Return Home After Serving in Afghanistan

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Bay Area soldiers returned home from Afghanistan Tuesday to the cheers of family and friends. Mark Matthews reports.

    Bay Area soldiers returned home from Afghanistan Tuesday to the cheers of family and friends.

    The welcome-home reception was held at the Oakland International Airport for 90 members of the California Army National Guard out of Vallejo.

    "I don't believe it," a soldier said while hugging his family. "It feels like a brand new everything.

    The soldiers have been away from their families since mid-July serving in Afghanistan and operating heavy equipment as part of the quartermaster corp.

    Sgt. Gene Gilliam was reunited with his son, who was born two days before he left for Afghanistan.

    "This is actually my first time seeing my son, so he started crying when I first grabbed him," Gilliam said. "But I started singing to him and it was a song I sang over Skype to him, so he started recognizing it and he calmed down. He realized it's his daddy."

    The soldiers will spend the next month adjusting to life back in the Bay Area, and in a month they'll meet up again at the Marriott in Concord for a job fair.