James Berry, of Manchester, takes his turn while Keith Whittum, of Concord, kisses his daughter, Liliane Whittum, 4, in Whittum's backyard on Wednesday afternoon, November 2, 2011. The two Specialists returned home at the end of August after being deployed on the Kuwait and Iraq border for the past year with National Guard Bravo Company 3643. While deployed, the two were truck commanders, leaders of a convoy security team, where they went on missions into Iraq for a minimum of six days at a time, responsible for the safe transport of supplies and equipment. "It's abnormal to sit here and not have him around," Whittum said about Berry. The two were long-time friends before their deployment and say after returning, they are always keeping in touch and checking up on each other. "You miss having your buddy around," Berry said.