COLUMBIA, S.C. — Two siblings at Harbison West Elementary School had no idea they would walk into a reunion when they walked into their holiday program.

After 11 months of deployment in Iraq, Staff Sergeant Raymond Henry arrived home in the Midlands just in time for Christmas. 

“It's more than gifts can give you, it's more than anything," Staff Sergeant Henry shares. "The military is part of family, but coming home to my kids, my mom, my brothers, my sisters, my wife…. It's just everything to me. Honestly I’m not an emotional person but, I kind of got emotional.”

Staff Sergeant Henry completed his second deployment overseas and was ecstatic to be home. 

Raymond Jr., who is in 4K and Shanel, who is in kindergarten, even led the Reindeer Pokey while their dad watched from behind the stage.

“I was really happy to see him,” Shanel smiled when asked about seeing her dad. 

“When you’re away from family, it takes a part of you away," Staff Sergeant Henry says. "Even though you’re around people the whole time, it's like there’s a part of you gone. But when you come near family, it's like ‘I’m complete again!’ No matter how many tours I do, no matter how far away I am from my family, when I’m with them I feel complete. When I’m away from them I just feel like something's missing. But now I’m whole again.”

What's next for the Henry family? 

"Just spend time with my family. Build myself. Get used to being home. Just give my family the time they deserve. I took away some from them now its time to give back to them," Staff Sergeant Henry said.  

Welcome home Staff Sergeant Henry!

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