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Special homecoming for Hurlburt Field Airmen
4th of July celebrations were extra special for more than a hundred Hurlburt Field Airmen and their families.
Their day started with a homecoming, as the troops returned from an overseas deployment.
The families of these Hurlburt Airmen have been waiting almost four months for them to get home. There was a lot of red, white and blue in the hangar as they waited for that plane to land"
Tom Christensen and his wife came all the way from Iowa with granddaughters in tow, to welcome their son Zac home from his first deployment.
Zac is part of a family legacy, the third generation to become an Air Force Officer.
Tom Christensen says, "And so we're very proud of his commitment to the country, and his ability to accomplish what he sets out to do"
Pride and tradition can give a lot of strength, but these families admit the separations are tough.
It is an anxious crowd that waits outside the hangar as the jet taxis in.
Then with the words "go get 'em", the families are cleared to approach the plane and grab their loved ones as they come off the stairs.
It's a sea of hugs and kisses and smiles and tears....and Zac Christensen is home again.
"It's great, it's great......can't put it into words"
Words aren't really needed at moments like this, being together is enough.
For lots of children and spouses, there's a feeling of relief.
But some who have served feel something else, a twinge of nostalgia for the fulfillment of a job well done.
Tom says, "Actually I'm a little bit jealous that I couldn't go with him. I think it would have been a lot of fun. But it would have been a lot of trouble to have dad underfoot too"
There were a lot of bags to unload from that jet, and I want to tell you something special about the people who did that unloading, you see them behind me in the fluorescent vests. They are volunteers, other troops who spent their holiday morning welcoming their fellow troops home.