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MIRAMAR (CBSMiami) – It’s been 12 months without a kiss, without a hug, without their loved ones. But Wednesday night the wait was over for these families – their soldiers were finally coming home.

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Carla Harr’s husband Raymond, along with 130 other National Guard soldiers nicknamed the “Hurricanes,” has been on a mission in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel – what used to be known as Operation Enduring Freedom.

Outside the buses filled with soldiers roll in. A symbolic fire engine hose welcomed them home.

And then… the moment was finally here.

Yessenia Cuervo is one of the first to embrace her husband, Sgt. Adiran Cuervo.

Carla and Raymond also embraced. He picked up his son, holding so tight.

The reunions were everywhere.

Sgt. Cuervo finally got to hold his children after a year.

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His sacrifice and that of his fellow soldiers is immeasurable.

“What did you miss the most?” CBS4’s Vanessa Borge asked him.

“First day of school, second birthday, playing around with them is what I mostly miss,” said Sgt. Cuervo.

Borge then asked his wife what it was like being without him for a year.

“It has been the hardest thing because of the kids. She started school. She would cry every night,” Yessenia said. “I had to be there for her and that was the hardest part.”

Why make such a large sacrifice?

“To protect them for a better future,” Sgt. Cuervo said.

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Catch the emotional reunions tonight on CBS Miami News at 11.