Petty officer welcomed home from Afghanistan

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EFFORT, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A local Pennsylvania Patriot, serving in Afghanistan, returns home to a hero’s welcome.

One by one, motorcycles came rolling into Effort, but they weren’t there for dessert. It was to welcome home Petty Officer Kari Raffensberger.

“It was a big surprise. I’m a little embarrassed,” Raffensberger said.

Raffensberger was deployed for about nine months in Afghanistan. Her family hugged her tightly after seeing her for the first time in almost a year.

“Thankful that she came home safe because I think of those often that don’t make it home and the families that don’t get this big happy welcome home,” June Miller, Raffensberger’s mother said.

Waving American flags and holding up signs, families who didn’t even know her came out to show their support. This is the second big welcome home for this family.

Her fiance, United States Air Force master sergeant Kevin Roberts also returned to the area from Afghanistan on the fourth of July with a similar welcoming. Roberts drove her. The couple was escorted from Bethlehem to their hometown area thanks to a collaboration of efforts.

“Seeing all these people today just blows me away,” Raffensberger said.

Now that the two are back, Raffensberger says she is focused on planning their wedding.

Raffensberger and her family also plan to make up for all the holidays they missed spending together while she was deployed.

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