GEORGETOWN, Del. – Christmas came early for some Delaware families today.
"It felt very long but I'm happy to be home for Christmas," says Specialist John Urell.
Specialist Urell was one of eighty members of the 198th Expeditionary Signal Battalion with the Delaware National Guard to return home Wednesday. The unit left back in April for a tour of duty in Afghanistan, making it difficult for Specialist Urell to stay in touch with his two-year-old son Mason.
"I tried to Skype as much as I could to get some kind of face time with them," says Specialist Urell. "Most of the time they're busy so they don't realize it as much as I do."
However, coming home just in time for the holidays was not always the plan.
"It was supposed to be longer but some of us got lucky enough to come home before," says Specialist Urell.
The rest of the unit, which reportedly includes about 200 soldiers, will return in phases over the next few months as operation bases begin to shut down.
To celebrate, most of the families say they are keeping their plans simple.
"I'm having a party the night before Christmas with my wife to invite me home, but other than that we're just going to enjoy some family time together," says Staff Sergeant Kevin Barren.