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February 02, 2018 05:07 PM

Veteran Receives Welcome Home Letters

A KELOLAND veteran is getting a special welcome home from her daughter's class after a long deployment overseas. Master Sergeant Nichole Gruber with the 114th Fighter Wing in Sioux Falls returned this week from a six-month operation with the South Dakota Air National Guard. 

Sweet words from sweet little first graders at Sonia Sotomayor Elementary. 

"It's touching to see, from children to veterans, thank you for your service and be proud of what you're doing over there," Nichole said. 

Master Sergeant Nichole Gruber is visiting her daughter Johanna's classroom after being gone for months as part of Operation Inherent Resolve in the Middle East. The long separation from her husband and kids was hard to handle. 

Matt Holsen: Is it kind of tough?


While her mom was gone, Johanna missed out on some of her favorite things. 

Johanna: Her hugs and kisses. 

Matt Holsen: Have you gotten a few since she's been back? How were they?

Johanna: Good. 

The family spent a day this week going to movies and hanging out. Nichole says her daughters have just been staring at her a lot. They can't believe she's finally back home. The veteran with over 20 years of service is thankful for the big welcome from her family and the kids in this classroom. 

"Means a lot. Being a part of the United States military is an honor and a privilege and not all countries treat their military the way that we are treated," Nichole said. 

It's something she'll never take for granted. Now Nichole will take time readjusting to the much different environment here at home.

Nichole: It's good. It's just a lot of time of catching up on life that I've missed. 

Matt Holsen:
And remembering how cold it is here.

Nichole: Yes, that's a little bit shocking. 

The Gruber family will be escaping the cold weather soon. They have plans to head to Disney World together for a few weeks. 

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