MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Friends, family and home are some things that come to mind on Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately for many Military families, it’s also a time spent away from loved ones, and when the time comes to reunite, it can be especially emotional.

For the Arellanos, it was a long-awaited homecoming.

Noel Arellano has been deployed in Afghanistan for almost a year.

It was a year without family and a year away from his girlfriend.

After many flights and weather delays, Noel finally made it home.

“We’re very proud of him," Noel’s mother said. "It was scary, but he went and did what he needed to do and now he came home. And now we’re just happy to have this time with him.”

This wasn’t just any other homecoming. It was a moment nine months in the making.

First came the tears. Then a loving embrace. Finally, came a ring.

More than a homecoming, it was the beginning of a lifetime commitment.

“I’m speechless," said Noel. I’m just grateful to be back just in time for the holidays and surrounded for people who love me. It’s a real blessing, I couldn’t ask for more.”

As for the future of the happy couple, they can’t wait to get the wedding planning started.