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Airmen return to LRAFB from deployment

KATV

Over a hundred Air Force airmen returned home Friday after months of deployment overseas.

"The best part about deployment for a family is when they come home," acting squadron commander for the 61st Airlift Squadron Major Andrew Miller said.

Families are now whole again, and many tell KATV they plan to celebrate a late Thanksgiving, Christmas, and belated birthdays.

"It's surreal. Like falling in love all over again with him," Corinne Soate said of her husband, Cason. "I'm thankful for the technology that we have these days that I get to see him and talk to him, FaceTime, you know, but just seeing him in person is just, it's unreal."

Stephanie and Luke Hughes, too, are thankful for technology to keep in touch. But the couple says nothing beats seeing each other in person.

"We're gonna go out and eat tonight," Luke Hughes said. Stephanie adding that it's a late birthday celebration for her.

Walter and Dezi, the Hughes' dogs, were also at Luke's homecoming.

"Walter really misses him when he's gone," Stephanie added.

The Hughes family, having been through now three deployments together, agree it does get easier:

"I think it does, I think we do pretty well separated but we definitely miss each other, for sure," Luke said.

"It's always difficult to be away from family for a long period of time, but what's really awesome is when we come back and we have a feeling of completion and a feeling of success for the things that we've done and the impact that we've made, even if it's been a long distance overseas," Miller added.

When asked how long these airmen will be home before they're re-deployed, Miller said, "hopefully as long as possible."

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