By Stephanie Watson

BELLE VERNON (KDKA) — For military families, the holidays are especially difficult.

So when Army Staff Sgt. Pat Egros made it home just four days before Thanksgiving, the Egros family in Belle Vernon could breathe a collective sigh of relief.

“It’s tough on any family really when you think about,” Pat Egros, Sr., the soldier’s father, said. “It’s on your mind everyday.”

This second tour of duty took Pat to Afghanistan for nine months, making him miss the comforts of home even more.

“All the food for Thanksgiving, spending time with my family, getting to see all my friends a couple of days before Thanksgiving catching up on some lost time,” Pat said.

That time includes one of Pat’s favorite pastimes

“I would have to say pick on my father,” he said.

And dad, in his own way, misses the harassment and torture.

“Like I say, we always joke around and just the companionship back and forth,” he said. “He had the cattle prod out chasing me around the dinner table tonight.”

But underneath all the laughter, the reality that Pat is one of the blessed to make it home alive, is never far from anyone’s thoughts on this Thanksgiving.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion,” Pat said. “It’s always nice though when you come home and having people there to support you and tell you thank you. I still think about the guys that are over there. The friends I’ve lost in the past.”

Pat will have a few more days to spend time with his family until he goes back to his regular job as a State Trooper at the Huntingdon County barracks.

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