Families Prepare for Troops' Return

Sailors from the Naval Hospital in Beaufort are returning from the Middle East after serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The men and women of Fleet Hospital Three deployed in March and are expected to arrive in Beaufort later tonight. Most families are getting pretty excited.

"I couldn't go to sleep last night," said Marine wife Gina Louis. "I tossed and I turned."

But now, with just hours before her husband arrives home, Gina and her two boys, Bobby and Zach, are putting the final touches on their homecoming preparations.

"Just knowing that he's coming home is...overwhelming, it's exciting," she said.

Gina's husband, HM1 Bobby Louis, deployed with nearly 40 other sailors from Naval Hospital Beaufort more than three months ago as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"It's only been three months, but it feels like three years," Gina said. "It's been hard, it's been hard taking care of the kids, you have to do the yard, you have to remember to pay the bills, you got to do the car, the gas, everything."

But now that the hard part is over, the boys have big plans for their father.

"Tomorrow we're going to go to the movie theater after school," said Zachary Louis. "Tonight we're going to watch a movie that he wanted to see for a very long time, Harry Potter and the Chamber Secrets."

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com