WARE, Mass. (CBS/AP) — It was a Christmas Eve to remember for 130 members of the Massachusetts Army National Guard and their families.

The soldiers returned on Wednesday from nearly a year’s deployment at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba. They were greeted by overjoyed family members during a homecoming ceremony at the Ware High School gymnasium.

All Nina Kotfila wanted for the holidays was her big brother to return home.

“It’s the best thing in the world,” she told WBZ-TV.

Soldiers were welcomed home during a Christmas Eve celebration in Ware. (WBZ-TV)

Soldiers were welcomed home during a Christmas Eve celebration in Ware. (WBZ-TV)

Staff Sgt. Kevin Morris had not seen his baby boy Kellen since he was born, and said it was “an amazing feeling” to be a full family.

Morris’ wife, Marcy, said she was looking forward to some down time with her husband, young son and daughter Megan.

“We’re going to go home and just enjoy each other and learn what it’s like to be a family of four,” said Marcy.

Though the troops may have missed home while stationed in Cuba, they won’t miss Christmas this year.

“Kind of overwhelming, but it’s awesome. A long time away,” said Staff Sgt. Steven Gilmore.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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