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CLEVELAND -- A wonderful surprise for a local soldier returning home from Afghanistan.

Family and friends had a surprise welcome for Specialist Derek Shimell at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport on Saturday.

The Middleburg Heights soldier returned from his first deployment to Afghanistan a year ago. He arrived at the airport to lots of hugs and tears for a hero -- finally home, safe and sound.

Specialist Shimell's duties involved long-range surveillance and he is a paratrooper in the airborne company, currently stationed in Fort Hood, Texas.