It was all smiles and tears at the South Bend Regional Airport Friday as a Michiana marine returned to where he grew up and safely into the arms of his family.
Family and friends waited as Sergeant John Nietupski got off his flight.
The Michigan City resident just completed his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, and has been stationed in Southern California for the last five weeks making today his first trip home since leaving the Middle East.
Members of Indiana's Patriot Guard lined the halls of the airport holding flags and giving dog tags to Sergeant Nietupski.
“We're just so proud and it's like when he's gone there's this gray cloud over us and this cloud and now been lifted by his safe return,” said Nann Wilson, Nietupski’s mother.
As for what's in store for the brief long weekend home - the family said they are going to the beach and doing whatever he wants to do.