Local soldier returns home in time for the holidays

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) —  A local family is welcoming their son home for the first time in more than a year. He’s been overseas serving in the military and got a very special welcome home on Thursday.

Imagine walking through thee gates after being deployed in Iraq for nine months and seeing dozens of people welcoming you with American flags. Well, that was reality Thursday for Brett Fusaro.

As Brett Fusaro walked through the arrival gate at Albany Airport, he was greeted by his mom Laurie Fusaro, his brother Nick Fusaro and several other people giving him a big welcome home.

“He wasn’t supposed to come home until March,” Laurie Fusaro said. “So this was an early come home, so I was like ecstatic that I was going to be able to see him for Christmas.”

“It’s been a long time,” Nick Fusaro explained. “It’s been like my mom said, nine months. He was over in a very tough place so it’s good to have him back.”

Brett is a First Lieutenant in the Army Airborne and has been deployed overseas in Iraq for the last several months.

“I haven’t been home in a while,” Brett Fusaro said. “It’s been over a year. So it’s very exciting. I’m happy to be home.”

Laurie’s co-workers decided to make the homecoming extra special and get the whole office together for the special moment.

“We’ve got to give this American soldier a good welcome home,” Laurie’s co-worker Sharon Kemprowski said. “He’s been through a lot and I really appreciate it.”

Laurie and Nick say having Brett home is the best early Christmas gift they could ask for.

“I’ve always looked up to him ever since I was a kid,” Nick Fusaro said. “He’s been a big influence on my life so I’m very proud of him.”

His mom had something a little more permanent in store to remind him how much she loves him: A tattoo with her son’s name and the date he got his paratrooper wings.

Brett says an even better gift than the tattoo is being home for the holidays.

“I love coming back here in my hometown to see all my family and friends, it’s definitely great,” Brett said.

If you thought the flag welcome was good, well Brett says there’s something even better in store for him. He can’t wait for his mom to make her famous Chicken Parmesan.

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