Soldiers return to Fort Bragg after hurricane aid mission in Puerto Rico

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WNCN) — About 100 troops returned home to waiting family and friends at Fort Bragg Monday night after spending more than a month in Puerto Rico assisting after Hurricane Maria.

Troops had been in Puerto Rico since late September.

While in Puerto Rico, troops helped distribute food and clean water to the community.

“There were some locations that really needed food and water and sometimes they just really needed a hug,” said SSgt Niesha McKnight.

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McKnight says she was happy to be back home and looking forward to getting a hug from her two kids.

Meanwhile, back at Fort Bragg dozens of families had missed their loves ones for weeks.

“I’m excited. I’m about to cry,” said Danielle Hogan.

Hogan waited with her son at Fort Bragg for her wife to return. The two had been separated for about a month and half.

But Hogan says it’s worth it to know her wife is helping so many in need.

“I’m very proud. I feel like I have a super hero for a wife,” said Hogan.

While for many troops, Monday was a homecoming, for some they were leaving their home behind.

“It’s really hard to see, it wasn’t the same Puerto Rico I used to see,” said specialist Carlos Martinez.

Martinez is from Puerto Rico. He says he didn’t find out his friends and family were OK until days after Hurricane Maria when he arrived with the Army to offer assistance. He says even surrounded by destruction, the people’s morale was still high.

“It’s sadness, but at the same time everybody is wanting to work, everybody is trying to do something better for Puerto Rico. We’re going to make it,” he said.

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