Just as some are mourning a tragic loss caused by war, others are giving thanks for the safe return of their loved one from overseas.
In Stone County, the family of Mac Davis is thankful the Marine is back home following his second tour of duty in Iraq. The 23 year old returned Friday afternoon.
"Okay, are we sure this is the right bus?", asked Mac Davis's sister, as she clutched a welcome home poster.
Nervous family members and homemade signs awaited the arrival at the downtown Gulfport bus station.
"There he is!! There he is," shouted a sibling.
Lance Corporal Mac Davis stepped off the Greyhound and into the arms of his overwhelmed mother. The long awaited reunion ended nearly eight months of separation.
His mom, Sophie Davis, was overcome with emotion.
"Elation. Just ecstatic. I'm glad to have him home. I feel for all the parents whose theirs didn't get to come home. And I'm just, I thank the good Lord that mine did," she said.
"You brought the sunshine with you," she told her son.
South Mississippi sunshine is a welcome change from dangerous duty that included the military sweep of Fallujah.
"It took about a month, a good month to get through there. A lot of sniper fire. Incoming mortars. RPGs. Pretty intense. But we made it, we all made it through," said the young Marine.
Overjoyed family members offered thanks for his safe return. Calendars in McHenry, Mississippi and a Marine Company somewhere in Iraq helped separated loved ones count down the days.
"You worry about them. And you're concerned for them. But you know that they're there to do a job," said his father Roy.
Mom could finally quit worrying about the safety of her son.
"Oh, you wouldn't believe it. You just wouldn't believe. Sleepless nights. just to have him home is the best thing in the world. It's the best thing in the world," she exclaimed.