By Diana Perez, WBZ-TV

NATICK (CBS) – Family. It’s what Thanksgiving is all about. And for the Sugarman’s of Natick this year, being around family means even more this year.

Army Reserve Major Richard Sugarman just spent nine months in Iraq where he worked as an attorney for the military medical units.

“As a father of two young children a three-year-old and a six-year-old, being away from them and my wife was very hard; missing the year of their life growing up,” Maj. Sugarman said.

WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports

The time away from his wife, boys, mom and siblings was tough, especially for a close family that cherishes moments together.

Richard’s wife Halye says the family was told he would be deployed months before he left. “It was a huge black cloud hanging over us that we knew that he was leaving,” she remembered.

So after almost a year of missing birthdays, holidays, and even Richard and Hayle’s ten-year wedding anniversary, the Sugarman family is grateful that the one person who was missing is finally back home.

“To have him home literally just in time is remarkable,” says Hayle.

Rich’s mother became emotional when talking about having all of her children at the Thanksgiving table this year.

“I just feel so grateful that he is here and I just wish that every other military family could experience what I am experiencing right now. It’s just wonderful to have him home right now,” she said.

And when asked what Richard was most grateful for on this holiday, he didn’t hesitate.

“I’m looking forward to a good turkey dinner that will beat anything we had in Iraq,” he quipped.

Still he says his mind is with the service members who can’t be home.

“The people who are out there with the guns protecting us just deserve a world of thanks.”


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