Back home after months in Afghanistan - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Back home after months in Afghanistan

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CAMP PENDLETON (CBS 8) - Dozens of Marines and sailors are enjoying their first night back home in the U.S. with their families after returning from a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.

The 45 Marines, deployed since January, were specially selected to help safeguard thousands of U.S. and coalition troops in Helmand Province as Afghan forces trained to take over security of the country. But for the families they left behind, Monday couldn't come soon enough.

After more than half a year away from home, this elite group with the First Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton are once again back on American soil, and back with their loved ones -- some of whom they are meeting in person for the very first time.

"She was born in May. I'm very happy to be home. Very happy," Major Christopher Polidora

He says he is proud of the work he and his fellow Marines did during this deployment in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, but relieved to be home with his three girls and wife Herlinda, who are also just as ecstatic.

"It's been a long time. Feels like forever. A little over six months, but it feels like a lifetime," Herlinda Polidora said.

Technology has helped bridge the distance. One proud papa was able to witness his son's birth half a world away via Facetime.

"It was one thing to experience it seeing it live, and now seeing him here is something else. It's amazing," the Marine said.

And while these troops missed out on a lot while carrying out their mission, it's is a mission they say will never forget as they look forward to making new memories with their families.

"It's a historic thing, it was worth it in that sense. It was difficult, long days, but something to be proud of. Something I'll always remember in retrospect," one Marine said.

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