Homecoming sweet for Gulfport Seabees - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Homecoming sweet for Gulfport Seabees

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) – When President Obama ordered an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan last year, members of NMCB 74 were already there. Those orders meant the Gulfport Seabees would have to spend more time in the volatile region, preparing for the surge. Members of that unit are finally back home with their families.

Monday night, the Seabees' family and friends were eagerly awaiting the return of their loved ones. The final moments were excruciating, but led to an explosion of emotion as the buses carrying 140 members of NMCB 74 drew nearer.

The men and women who had been away from their families for eight months were finally in sight.

"It feels great," one Seabee said. "It's good to see our families. It's good to see everybody out here."

"Well, we did what we had to do to get the deployment done and take care of everything and come home," said Billy Hill with NMCB 74.

When they deployed, the Seabees thought they would be gone for six months. But when President Obama pledged a stronger troop presence in Afghanistan, their deployment was extended to eight months. That made this homecoming, even sweeter.

"Words can't express," said Steven Ramsey with NMCB 74. "I'm so glad to be home. Thank God for U.S. soil."

About 600 Seabees make up NMCB 74. There is still one more flight scheduled to bring home the last group of that battalion.

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