The Reno-Tahoe International Airport is bustling with the arrivals of local soldiers on leave for the holidays.
Two local soldiers returned to their families Thursday after being away at basic training. An airport full of enthusiastic supporters, including a middle school band, greeted them as they came out of the terminals.
Private First Class Chris Wentz walked off the plane and into the arms of his loved ones, accepting handshakes and words of thanks for his service from onlookers. Wentz has been training for the last two months to be a helicopter mechanic in the Army.
Private First Class Tony Paccella also came home for a holiday break from basic training Thursday. He proudly walked through the crowd of supporters with his baby niece in his arms.
Both soldiers said they are grateful to have this time with their families.
"I love my family," Paccella said, "and I am glad to be back."
When asked what he most looked forward to about being back home, Wentz responded with a smile, "There's no sand!"
The Blue Star Mothers of the Truckee Meadows led the welcoming committee, helped by a group of retired military veterans and the Swope Middle School band.
For information on participating in the soldier homecomings, click here.