Families welcome home soldiers for the holidays at San Francisco airport

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Holiday travel lines and delays can be agonizing, but it doesn't quite compare to the kind of wait Gloria Lopez was experiencing at SFO on Friday.

"I'm waiting for my son Moses Sosa," Lopez, a San Francisco resident, said. "He's been away at army boot camp. I'm sorry I can't wait to see him."

Each time the sliding glass door moved at the arrivals exit, it looked like Lopez's heart skipped a beat.

"He just landed," Lopez shouted from her cell phone. "Okay well hurry up we're waiting for you."

Lopez broke down in tears when she saw her son.

Many military families don't have a moment like Lopez's during the holidays.

"I know we're so lucky," Lopez said.

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The Gutierrez family felt the same way. Private Betzaida Gutierrez got to come home as well.

"You know I've been missing her a lot, so yeah it's fun to have her here," Ariana Gutierrez, a Manteca resident and Betzaida's sister, said.

"Up to this point it felt really surreal," Betzaida Gutierrez, a Manteca resident said. "I was just traveling and it didn't feel like I wasn't going to see them yet until I walked and saw my family coming towards me."

ABC7 News watched people go by with smiles, tears, and tight embraces inside SFO on Friday. What we didn't initially realize was someone else there watching along with us.

"I like to come over here and watch them every day when they're doing that because all year long it's the same thing," Robert Marting said.

Marting loves holiday welcome homes.

"I'll take BART over for four or five hours and then go back home to Dublin," Marting said.

He's seen some interesting things as well.

"I'm amazed at how many little dogs are on these airplanes," Marting said. "I must have counted twenty something dogs."

Before Marting's story starts to sound lonely, we should note he was counting the minutes. His wife's flight hadn't landed yet and he was more than ready for his welcome home moment too.
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