Waiting at the airport was not part of the Memorial Day plans for Linda Mecomber and her family. Afterall, her son, Specialist Mendon Woodcock, wasn't expected home for a few days.
Linda Mecomber said "This morning, they said he'd be in at 12:30 and he'd be at the airport. I'm just excited and we're waiting".
Also anxiously waiting was Woodcock's wife Carolyn. She was holding their 10-month old daughter Serenity, whom he hasn't seen since he deployed in January.
Carolyn Woodcock said "I'm very excited, very nervous. I'm happy. I can't wait until he gets in here".
At 12:30, someone screamed "There he is!"
It was a moment when no one wanted to let go.
Spec. Mendon Woodcock said "Growing up as a kid they tell you Christmas is the best time of the year. Christmas can't hold a candle to this. I see my wife coming out the gate, that's what it's all about. This is the best moment of my life".
Coming home on Memorial Day made Woodcock even prouder to serve his country.
Woodcock said "It has been nothing short of Memorial Day since I've arrived in Atlanta this morning. Everybody thanked me for everything. They thanked all of us, so it's been great".
Woodcock will make the most of the short time he has with his family, before he has to leave them again and rejoin the 155th.
Woodcock said "In two weeks, I'll go back and finish up what we started. Then we'll all come back. All of Mississippi is coming back".
Mendon Woodcock and his wife got married right before he deployed to Iraq, so this week, the couple will go on their honeymoon. He also plans to get to know his daughter more and get a lot of rest-and-relaxation before he returns to Iraq on June 15th.