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RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina middle schooler got a big holiday surprise Wednesday when her older sister came home from Army duty.

Sgt. Danielle Hammonds rarely gets to come home for Christmas, but she returned to Raleigh this year, and is grateful to spend time with her younger sister.

“Since she was born, I’ve always been across seas – I’ve been to Korea twice, I’ve been to Germany, Iraq,” Hammonds said. “So, I’ve always been away from her.”

Hammonds spent 11 hours on a plane and another 17 in the car to get home for the holidays.