The airmen from Moody Air Force Base say they are proud of the job they did in the Middle East, but are grateful to be back with friends and family.
While they all had different roles in Operation Iraqi Freedom, they all were alike today and thrilled to be back home. Hundreds turned out to welcome home family and friends. Children had special signs for their fathers, while others had hugs and kisses for their returning loved one.
It was an extra special homecoming for some, like Major Kurt Konopatzke. That's because he got to see his second son for the first time.
"I'm just extremely happy to be back. I'm thankful for my wife and sons and just overwhelmed at this point. Just real happy to be home," he says.
Lieutenant Colonel Tom Bianco, who commands the 71st Rescue Squadron, says there are many reason to be happy about being back home.
"We're all happy to be back with our families who provided us a lot of support on the home front, taking care of all the things back here that needed to be taken care of, so we had our minds at ease so we could do the job over there,” states Tom.
And after a tough, but successful mission, these airmen are going to enjoy a little time off before they begin preparations for their next mission. Airmen who returned home will get some time off to spend with their families, or just relax. The amount of time they get off is based on how long they were deployed.