DFW AIRPORT (CBS 11 NEWS) — It was 10 months ago that Arlington Firefighter and Army Reserve Specialist Ryan Pugh left home for a deployment in Afghanistan. On Thursday, he received a hero’s welcome at DFW International Airport, as he stepped off a plane and into the arms of his loved ones.

His young fiancée, Holly Embree, was the first to greet him outside the airport gate. She said, “Ryan is my hero,” just before she ran up to give him a hug and kiss.

Not far behind were Pugh’s parents and his co-workers from the Arlington Fire Department who also showered him with praise and embraces.

Pugh said, “You don’t realize how much you’re going to miss something until you are already gone.”

The 23-year old worked as a military police officer while deployed and said he always felt the support from his family and co-workers from the Arlington Fire Department.

He added, “Whenever I was having rough day, I could always count on going back to my barracks and getting a letter or care package from these guys. I love them. They are my family.”

He says he plans on marrying his fiancée soon and returning to work at his Arlington firehouse within a month.

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