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US Army Specialist Matthew Angrosina surprises his sister Maggie with a homecoming hug at the Veterans Memorial Middle School in Brick. Thomas P. Costello , Asbury Park Press
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BRICK - Shock, then tears, filled the eyes of 12-year-old Maggie Angrosina as she saw her brother, dressed in his military fatigues, walk across the stage of her middle school.Maggie stood before an assembly in Veterans Memorial Middle School on Wednesday where she believed her name had been pulled from a hat for a special surprise. But when the surprise was revealed — 23-year-old Army Spc. Matthew Angrosina stepped out from behind the stage's black drape curtains — the sixth-grader threw her arms around her brother and wept tears of joy.The two have been apart for about a year. Her older brother had been serving as a tank gunner in Germany, Poland and Romania. 
"It was just amazing to see her again," Matthew Angrosina said.Maggie said the two were close and that she was shocked by the surprise at her school. Their parents had kept Matthew's return a secret from Maggie and her older brother Michael."We talk all the time about everything," Matthew Angrosina said. "Whenever she needs something, she comes to me."Brick: Woman bites patron at St. Patrick's Day party at Mantoloking Road Alehouse in Brick: copsThe crowd of excited Veterans Memorial students broke into cheers and applause when  Maggie wrapped her arms tightly around her brother' chest.
Years ago, Matt Angrosina sat in these same auditorium seats where Maggie's friends cheered their reunion on Wednesday. He later graduated Brick Memorial High School in 2014.From the side of his former middle school auditorium, his parents Lynda and David and brother Michael looked on.“It’s been very hard," Lynda Angrosina, 52, said of her son's deployment. "We’ve missed him so much.”
David Angrosina, 52, said talking over the phone with his son has been difficult with an ocean between them, due to technical limitations. Now, the family was looking forward to spending the next month with him at home.Matthew Angrosina said that afterward he will go to Fort Hood, Texas, before deploying to South Korea."I’m the most proud dad in the world right now," his father said.
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Also: A+ in Shore schools: Honoring the best in educationThe Asbury Park Press is committed to bringing you timely, in-depth news from schools around the Jersey Shore. Please consider subscribing to support the work of our award-winning journalists.Amanda Oglesby: @OglesbyAPP; 732-557-5701; aoglesby@gannettnj.com

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