Thousands of service members from every branch of the military lined up at the San Antonio International Airport to see their families for the holidays.
“It’s just the people and company I miss the most. I could go on and on about the food and all that, but it’s just the people. I miss my family,” Private Jose Gallegos said.
After months of rigorous training, this is the last stop before these service members go back to a familiar place -- home.
This week, nearly 4,000 active-duty members will fly from San Antonio to Florida, North Carolina, California, and other destinations to celebrate the holidays with their loved ones.
Many are grateful for the chance to be home for the holidays. It’s a luxury for active-duty service members.
“The holiday, I’ve always spent it with my family, so it’s nice to go back home and see them again even though it’s just two weeks. Two weeks means a lot to us,” Private Robert Nolasco said.
Although, Army privates said they have a strong bond with their “battle buddies,” six months away from home is still a challenge.
“I can’t wait to see my dogs. I just can’t wait to give a huge hug to my dogs,” said Nolasco.
As these men and women wait, the USO has provided comfort and food, all from volunteers and donations.