By Alex Fees
ST. PETERS, Mo. (KSDK) - For the first time in four years, a local war hero is home for Christmas and a St. Peters family is together again.
Army Sgt. Jeffrey Gehrin has been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan in artillery fire-direction control, and this marks the first Christmas he's been home for since 2008.
The Gehrin brothers and their mother Tina, are making up for lost time.
"Wanted to show him how much we love him," said Mat. "Show him how much we honor what he's doing for the country. And I just thought I'd try to find a way to do that in a way to show people what we end up seeing on a regular basis."
In October, Mat Gehrin, learned his brother would be home for Christmas.
The Gerhins remember Christmases when Jeff could not be with them.
It goes back to 2009.
Mat said, "I think four years ago we were sitting here looking at laptop photos had sent of camel spiders and other stuff he was seeing in Iraq while he was over there."
In 2010, and then 2011.
Bryan was asked if anything changed much in the years Jeffrey was not home for Christmas.
"Not so much. A lot of phone calls, but nothing face to face or anything," he said.
Now, newly-promoted to sergeant, Jeff is looking forward to making up for Christmases lost.
"Relax for once," he said, outlining his plans. "Hang out with my family. It's been a long time, so it's nice to be able to hang out with them and catch up on old times. Our family's kind of movie buffs, so we're going to see a lot of movies."
Sgt. Gehrin says at the end of his three week leave he goes back to Fort Lewis, Washington.
His next deployment, to Afghanistan, is scheduled for November.