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Staff Sergeant Surprises Children With Return From Iraq

Over the past nine years, Staff Sgt. Vince Minghelli saw multiple tours to Iraq. He, along with thousands of other soldiers, is now gone after the final troops were withdrawn from the country capped off with a flag casing ceremony last week.

Minghelli always told his children he?d make it home for Christmas, a promise he didn?t intend on breaking. He had missed Christmases in years past, and his family said they weren?t the same.

Sonia Minghelli usually brings her children with her to celebrate her husband?s homecomings. This time she decided to do things a little different.

?I wanted to surprise them because my daughter has been crying a lot, she misses him,? said Minghelli.

Tears are a thing of the past at the Minghelli household. Vince Minghelli walked through the doors of his home, much to the surprise of his children who thought their Mom had gone grocery shopping, and when he walked in he hugged everyone and told them proudly, ?I told you I?d be home for Christmas.?

Minghelli was part of the 4th Brigade, 1st Armored Division that was the last to leave the Anbar province in Iraq. He says things are much different than the first time he toured in the Anbar province. When the news came that he was heading home several weeks ago, he says there were two reasons to be excited.

?It?s good to be home,? said Minghelli. Adding, ?It?s kind of good to know that a year from now I won?t be back in Iraq.?

He does plan to go somewhere. Minghelli says he plans on re-enlisting, and eventually retiring with the Army. His wife says it?s difficult, but said the whole family is proud of what he does.

?Unless you?ve been through this it?s hard to describe,? said Sonia Minghelli.

Her oldest son, Halen, has been through the process more than any of her four children. As the only teenager in the family he was allowed in on the secret that his father was coming home, but he admits it doesn?t change much about his feelings about his Dad being gone.

?I still miss him the same as that first time he left,? said Halen Minghelli.

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