STAMFORD - A soldier from southwestern Connecticut made a special trip to Stamford to visit his family he has not seen in over a year.

Sgt. 1st Class Edwin Rosales has been serving in the United States Army since 1998. He says he does his best to come home once a year to celebrate Independence Day with his family.

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Rosales calls his mother his inspiration for joining the armed forces. His mother Yolanda says she is happy to have her son home.

Rosales says having a little bit of time to come home to be with his family is the greatest gift this holiday. He says the holiday is not only an opportunity to be with his loved ones, but also to reflect on the ones he has lost.

Rosales has served one tour in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. He says he will retire from the service in four years.