It was a very happy reunion for dozens of families in Gastonia on Saturday as they welcomed home soldiers from the 505th Engineer Battalion.
Eyewitness News spoke to the Charlotte woman who spent the last nine months anxiously awaiting her granddaughter's safe return from the Middle East.
Soldiers were given an official welcome home ceremony on Saturday after spending nine months in Kuwait and Afghanistan.
The 505th Engineer Combat Battalion focused primarily on construction, completing more than 300 engineering projects and renovating dozens of buildings.
"A lot of our construction missions were in conjunction with our allies, the Kuwaiti's," said Lt. Col. Christopher Gilbert.
Gilbert said he is proud of the work his unit accomplished and said having the support of loved ones back home was critical in their success.
"Family support is paramount in the military, particularly when on deployment," said Gilbert.
Vermell Rush was there every step of the way for her granddaughter.
"When she first left it was a surprise to me. I did not accept it very well, but as time went on I realized it was something that she wanted to do to help the country, so I supported her the whole time she was there," said Rush.
Rush and her grandson continued their support for his big sister's battalion Saturday, proud of their service and thankful for their safe return.
"We are just glad to have her back and we just hope she can continue to do the good things she needs to do in life," said Rush.
This was the unit's third deployment.
The unit received more than 140 awards collectively for their service, ranging from Army Achievement medals to Bronze Star medals.