Military families will tell you that regardless of the number of deployments, they never get used to their loved ones being away. In addition to missing them, there is also the uncertainty of not knowing whether they are ok or not. Phone calls, emails, and letters give temporary peace of mind but nothing beats holding that person in your arms.
Rader was stationed in Italy, unable to take time off to visit his family in Arizona often.
It was hard for the teen who was close to her brother to all of a sudden go on about her daily life without having him around all the time.
Soldiers are stationed there for a maximum of five years.
Italy’s direct access to international waters makes it an ideal location for American troops to set base here.
There are approximately 156,000 military personnel stationed around the world.
The Army specialist is a paratrooper assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade.
The brigade provides rapidly deploying forces to Europe, Africa, and Central Command areas of responsibility within 18 hours.
Rader willingly made the sacrifice to be away from home to serve his country, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t miss them.
He did tell his older brother John, 37, but asked him not to say anything. “He let me know, but he didn’t want to tell anyone else,” John told Inside Edition.
“He played it off through Snapchat, and made it seem like he was still in Italy and would be there for a while,” John says.
Being away for three years means he missed birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and every other special holiday and event.
He dropped her off at the family home and took off.
The family dog was the first one to recognize the military man, barking happily.
She was clearly scared at first but she clued in almost immediately that it was her brother who was hovering over her.
What followed was the realization that her big brother was home.
There were no words, just holding him tight.
There was just so much to catch on; school, extra-curricular activities, friends, dances.
Rader probably wanted to tell her about his experience serving. But at that moment it was about embracing one another.
He was 19 years old when he was deployed, he must have changed a lot not just from the rigorous training but as a person.
This is because they were close, according to John.
“(Our older sister and I) were already old enough that we moved out of the house, so they were the only siblings they had growing up,” he explains.
But none can topple this one.
She asks her brother when he got back.
Elizabeth is at a loss for words. We are sure after getting over her shock, she will have plenty to talk about.
He wants to become an auto mechanic.
->**Watch the emotional video of Shane Rader coming home.**<-