SAVANNAH, GA, (WTOC) - Crowds filled the hangar at Hunter Army Airfield to welcome home 240 soldiers with the Third Combat Aviation Brigade. Each family represented a soldier who's been in Afghanistan for the last year.
"Haven't seen him in a year," Magon Loring said of her brother. "He's meeting his nephew for the first time. We drove up from Texas last night."
"Skype was good that you could talk and see them. But part of you is gone," confided Lindsay Mohs as she waited for her finance. "You can't be normal. Part way through, you forget what normal is."
Each story of missed birthdays and holidays was slightly different but all shared a pride in those who wear the uniform.
"None of us can understand what they do. Nothing we ever say or do can thank them enough," Mohs added.
After an hour's wait that felt like an eternity, the hangar doors opened and they finally got the moment they've dreamed about for months.
"The last two weeks have been a little long as the clock ticked down. A long year, but great to be back," said Captain Mike Perry after he embraced Mohs.
For their willingness to leave families behind and stand in harm's way half a world away, the soldiers of the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade earn a WTOC Military Salute.