Tears and happiness: Friends and family welcome Tiger Brigade home from year-long deployment


(KLFY) — Dozens of families are reunited with their loved ones after the last group of the National Guard Tiger Brigade returned home Sunday evening.

More than 2,000 soldiers in the Tiger Brigade combat team have been deployed in the Middle East for nearly a year.

On Sunday, the last group flew back to Acadiana and were reunited with their loved ones.

Fathers were reunited with their children, kids saw their parents for the first time again, husbands hugged their wives, and men were reunited with their moms.

“It feels like a movie. I haven’t seen them for exactly a year today,” Tyler Fruge said.

Fruge got to meet his newborn nieces for the first time when he returned home.

“It’s beautiful, just beautiful,” he said.

Soldiers in the Tiger Brigade haven’t seen their loved ones for over 300 days.

“My dad’s coming home today,” a young boy said.

Isaiah Thomas hadn’t seen his dad in what he says felt like forever.

His dad missed his baseball team’s games while he was deployed, so they named their team “The Generals” in his honor.

The whole team welcomed his dad with him when he landed.

“It makes me feel happy, very happy because I know my team got my back to support me,” Thomas said.

When the plane touched down, he was finally reunited with his dad.

“It’s awesome. It’s amazing,” his dad said. “Everybody always talked about these guys whenever we were downrange, so it’s great to see all of them together.”

“It’s different. He’s taller, bigger. I wasn’t expecting this one to be this tall. It’s unreal,” Thomas’s dad added, looking at his young son.

There were tears, happiness, and hugs on Sunday because they’re finally home.

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