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Minnesota National Guard
Soldier, Wife, Daughter Together after Exciting Airport Reunion

Posted at: 07/12/2012 9:33 PM | Updated at: 07/12/2012 10:44 PM "¨
By: Alan Hoglund "¨ahoglund@wdiocom "¨

Thursday was far from an ordinary day for Andrea Lee, of Superior She’s the wife of a Minnesota National Guard soldier, and Thursday’s the day he arrived at home after serving in Afghanistan for more than a year

Her husband is 1st Lt Matthew Lee, but he's better known at Sam

Before Sam arrived home at the Duluth International Airport, Andrea told Eyewitness News he’s been gone for more than 15 months She said it was the longest she’d ever been without him
Just 15 minutes before Sam arrived, his two-year-old daughter, Lydia, could hardly contain herself She ran around the airport, hugging family and friends

While Andrea was a little bit more composed, she shared the same enthusiasm, laughing as she told us "it’s almost better than your wedding day"

Lydia and Andrea carried signs they made for Sam’s homecoming into the airport with them She showed us one with outlines of Lydia’s hands and feet on it, and a small photo of Sam
Sam was deployed to Afghanistan in the spring of 2011 as part of a select team, on a special mission He’s been training the Afghan Army and police force

"It’s hard," Andrea said "We’ve been really blessed to have our friends and church have really supported me so i never really felt alone"

Those very friends and family filled the airport, as Sam made his grand entrance down the terminal stairs Family and friends cheered as he ran through a big paper sign, like a high school football team before the big game

Sam told us he’s proud to serve his country, but with his wife finally by his side, he admitted being home is a big relief "We tried talking as much as we could on Facebook and on the phone, but we're finally together"

Mom, dad and daughter have a lot of catching up to do, but it’s clear, there’s nothing they’d rather do

"There's nothing like having your spouse at home," Andrea said
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