Service members happy to be home for Thanksgiving - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Service members happy to be home for Thanksgiving

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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Happy homecomings are taking place all across the country including at the Gulfport Biloxi International Airport. Some service members talked about what it means to spend Thanksgiving with family. familiar smiles and warm hugs. After a six month deployment to the Middle East, service members from Keesler Air Force Base said returning home to their family and friends in time for Thanksgiving is something to be thankful for.

Zoran Whelan said, "It's great. I was hoping to make it home a few days earlier but I'm glad I made it home."

"It's like a teary eyed moment," said Courtney Hayes. "It's a long six months, so when you come home it's like, 'Oh, I'm back!' So I'm happy."

Military families are just as excited to sit down to Thanksgiving dinner with their loved ones.

"Like my daughter says, no more canned cooking because he's a chef," said Jeannie Whelan. "We miss him. Miss him tremendously. We're going to have a Thanksgiving."

The Gulfport Biloxi International Airport officials said flights are full with the busiest days being Wednesday and Sunday.

"We want to encourage those who are traveling in and out of our airport that they call ahead to the airline and make sure there are no delays or schedule changes," said Clay Williams, Airport Executive Director. "We like to encourage people to get here an hour and a half early so they can clear the security checkpoints and hopefully have a stress free holiday flight today."

Williams said, "This is a great time for people to be with family and friends and to have a good Thanksgiving meal. We have a lot of service members that fly in and out of this airport and it's really good to see them reunite with family or get to see them on the way out to visit with family."

One of those military members headed out is Tomeika Washington. She and her son, Ajani, headed off to grandma's house in Colorado.

"It's awesome because I'm in the military, so I do travel a lot. And being able to go home is just great," said Washington. "It's a great feeling to know that we can both go home and spend time with our family."

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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