SALISBURY, Md. – For the first time since October, Sergeant Jeff Rantz is officially home.
"It's very nice to be home, it's amazing to see the number of folks come out and it's always nice to see family and friends," says Sergeant Rantz, with the 115th Military Police Battalion.
"It's a delight to have him back, him being away really strengthens your prayer life," says K.W. Rantz, Sergeant Rantz' older brother.
The unit deployed from Salisbury in late October of 2012 for several weeks of training in Fort Bliss, Texas, and left for Afghanistan shortly after on Christmas day. On September 19th, Sergeant Rantz flew home, and although his flight did not get in until after 11:30 PM, he was greeted by a large group of family, friends, and local military support groups.
"There were days it seemed very long, and there were other days that just passed by very quickly," says Sergeant Rantz.
The Wicomico County Sheriff's Deputy has been involved with law enforcement and the military for eighteen years.
"He's a person that's always given for his community and his country," says Cheryl Rantz, Sergeant Rantz' wife.
This was Sergeant Rantz' third deployment in the military, but that did not make it any easier for loved ones, especially his family.
"We're just ready to get on and start over basically, get to know each other again," says Cheryl. "We have a 15-year-old daughter, and she's a trooper, she's strong and tough and wants to make him proud."
"It's been long, very long," says K.W.
Now that their soldier is back safe and sound, the family has some exciting plans ahead, including a vacation to Florida. For Sergeant Rantz, he is most looking forward to spending time with his family and close friends, but that's not at all.
"A cheeseburger and French fries. That will do just fine."
The rest of the 115th Military Police Battalion is supposed to return within the next week, but the exact date and airport is still being determined.
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