Marine Reservists Return to Buffalo

March 23, 2011 Updated Mar 24, 2011 at 8:01 AM EDT

By Lou Chilelli

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March 23, 2011 Updated Mar 24, 2011 at 8:01 AM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) -- Wind driven snow and freezing temperatures could not dampen the spirits of hundreds who turned out to welcome home some local Marines. A long deployment is over and now it's time to reconnect with family and friends.

A convoy of more than a dozen police cars from across the region led the two buses of returning Marines back to the reserve station on Porter Avenue in Buffalo. They were met there by hundreds of family members and friends. Many, like Sara Freundschuh of Pendelton, brought welcome home signs. Sara is waiting for two of her sons to get off the buses. "My two sons are coming home. Yea! I feel great. I am excited they both came home alive! We are excited about all the Marines, of course, that are coming in. So, it's a blessing," she said.

It's a challenge...but Sara is able to find each of her sons in the crowd. Her son Peter says there's one think he missed the most. Just my family the most. I had a daughter while I was over there...so I just met her for the first time this morning," he said. More than one hundred Marine reservists returned home after more than six months assigned to various duties in Afghanistan.

Sara's other son Michael is excited to see snow this late in the season, "Actually it's amazing because I really wanted to go snow boarding when I got home. It was really warn everywhere else we were. It's awesome being able to come home to this." This is the same unit that lost 21-year-old Lance Corporal Aaron Swanson last month. He died when his convoy was struck by an improvised explosive device. Members of the areas Patriot Guard were also on hand to welcome home the Marines.