Hero Homecoming: Arlington Firefighter Gets Big Welcome

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DALLAS, TX — It looked like it was Homecoming Day at DFW International Airport.  Plenty of soldiers came through the doors at terminal A, but another group of folks in uniform were waiting on their brother.

“It’s very sweet,” Chief David Stapp with the Arlington Fire Department said.  “It’s good to see any of the soldiers that are coming home, but it’s sweeter that it’s one of our own.  [We got] Money and donations to send care packages to him.  You know people have to go, it just makes you more nervous when it’s not only someone you know, but a co-worker that you work with. ”

Specialist Ryan Pugh was fighting fires with the Arlington Fire Department, until he was deployed to Kabul in Afghanistan.  And after serving more than a year as a military police officer, he’s back in the U.S.A.

“No words can explain how happy I was,” Pugh described.  “Not seeing them for that long, not knowing when I was going to be able to see them again, it’s just, it’s a blessing.”

The guys at the firehouse wanted to make sure this reunion was worth remembering.

“You don’t know how much you’re going to miss something until you’re already gone.  Working at the fire station, I missed those guys terribly.”

Those weren’t the only folks Pugh missed.  His mother and fiancée were there to capture the moment too.

“Feeling a great sense of peace, relief, pride.  Good to just be able to hold him,” his mother Connie Pugh said.  “So happy for him, but still hoping that everybody still remembers we still have a lot of soldiers over there who are in harm’s way and praying for all their safety.”

“So thankful, so blessed to have him back, and earlier than we had originally planned even,” fiancée Holly Embree said.

There’s one more thing this military man is thankful for.

“My fiancee actually makes this amazing chicken, baked chicken cheese thing, I honestly don’t know what it’s called, but it’s amazing,” Pugh smiled,

You deserve two helpings of that, my friend! Welcome home, soldier!