GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It was a homecoming just in time for the holidays Thursday evening as Mississippi National Guard's 255th air control squadron arrived home to greet loved ones after a six month deployment in the Middle East.
The squadron consisted of 93 men and women, but to loved ones they were better known individually as mom, dad, aunt and uncle.
Hundreds gathered in Hangar at the Air National Guard base to welcome them home. It was an introduction for some.
"This is the first time he's met his father, or it will be the first time," said Stephanie Arroyo. "He was born three weeks after he left."
It was a much anticipated moment for the new mother.
"That's the most important thing is him, coming home to him," said Arroyo in tears. "Getting to hold him."
Getting ready to welcome home dad, the Majo family said they knew what was going to happen when Brandon Majo stepped off that plane.
"Grab all of his kids, that's what I want," said mother Cody Majo. "I want him to have his girls again."
Seven-year-old Haydyn said her dad is all she wants for the holidays.
"I'm happy to have him home for Thanksgiving and Christmas," said Haydyn.
It's that spirit of the holiday homecoming that had hundreds gathered, with signs in hand, smiling and waiting for that plane to land. And, as it landed, wives searched through the masses for their loved ones.
But, the search, the wait, was all worth it. Whether it was holding your son for the first time. Or being reunited with your girls.
"There he is, there he is!" screamed Cody Majo.
Squadron 255 was welcomed home with open arms, some smaller than others.
"It's amazing, they got so big in only six months, three times as big," said Jonathan Arroyo.
The feeling of the night could be summed up best in the words and actions of little Haydyn.
"I'm so proud of him for coming home!" said Haydyn.