This Is What It Looks Like When Your Loved Ones Return After Nine Months Of Deployment
Thousands of service members returned to the Norfolk Naval Station after an extended mission in the Middle East.
On Oct. 31, more than 4,000 Navy sailors and Marines returned home to their families following nine months of deployment.
Friends and families waited for their loved ones with signs and smiles on the pier at Norfolk Naval Station.
Everyone cheered when the ship was finally moored and the long-awaited reunion was underway.
Especially when loved ones began to spot each other in the crowd.
A lot can happen when you're deployed for nine months.
Some of the returning members of the military met their children for the first time.
New fathers are allowed to exit the ship before everyone except the service member chosen for the traditional first kiss.
Of course, all children grow over nine months.
And even though there are many amazing programs designed to keep deployed families close, it's hard on everyone.
But that makes each homecoming even more special.
When you're away from your loved ones for nine months, sometimes things become more clear.
But, most of all, homecomings — short or long — are about love.
The love of country that calls men and women to military service.
And the love of family that keeps them going while they're away.
Thank you to all the service members and military families.
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