It's been nearly a year since Kim Maloy has been able to wrap her arms around her son.. So this moment Friday, was something she had been dreaming of since the day he left.. Kim says, "I didn't want to let go.. I don't ever want to let go.." Justin says, "It was the most wonderful feeling in the world.."
23-year old Justin Norten of Paradise, has been in Afghanistan for the past 8 months.. And before that, he was stationed in Germany for more than a year. So to see him back in America, home safely, was a dream come true for his entire family.. Including his cousin Dakota and stepfather Jim.. "Relief.. just absolute relief," Jim says. Dakota Stahl says, "I was scared when he did go into the Army, so just seeing him come down those stairs was the best thing!"
Norten, a Paradise High School graduate, member of the chess club and Butte College student, decided to enlist in the Army in 2009. Which was a shock to his family because he never expressed an interest to join the military. But when he explained why he signed up, his family was nothing but proud. Justin says, "(I did it) to protect the family, protect everyone in the United States. I did not want another attack on the U.S. what so ever."
Norten isn't scheduled to return to Kandahar, but will be flying back to Germany, June 27th, for another year of service. So for now, this family has a lot to celebrate and enjoy each moment they have together. Justin's Nana, Barbara Gregory says, "I've been with him since the day he was born and he's just surpassed every thing i hoped for." Kim says, "I'm very proud of him! He's our hero.. He's our hero."