Families, BSO welcome soldiers home from Africa

MIRAMAR, FLA. (WSVN) - Family and friends welcomed home more than 100 National Guard soldiers home from Africa, Wednesday night, after a yearlong deployment.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office provided a police escort for the returning soldiers to the National Guard Readiness Center in Miramar, where their families eagerly awaited them.

Sgt. 1st Class Roger Roache from Palm Bay was reunited with his 3-month-old son Leandro, his wife Laura and the rest of their family.

Roger had come home just in time for the birth of Leandro on Veterans Day. The baby was delivered prematurely and needed around-the-clock care at the hospital.

“Because it was an emergency C-section, the baby was in the NICU for twenty days,” Laura said, “so he had to go back before the baby came home.”

Roache had to return to his tour before Leandro was brought home. “I can’t wait to get home, so I can get some more time with him,” he said.

Ana Rivero-Marin said her returning son would be treated to a meal worthy of the occasion. “Chuleta, arroz congrí, yuca, because we are Cuban!” she said.

One child held up a sign reading, “Welcome home Daddy,” while another woman held a sign that said, “I’d wait for you forever but 348 days was long enough.”

“I will bulldoze anybody to get to him,” said a woman eager to see her significant other.

About 160 soldiers are a part of 53rd Infantry Brigade.

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