Ocean Springs Family Celebrates Military Homecoming

Any discussion of U-S military operations hits close to home for families with loved ones serving overseas.

Those families experience the anxiety of long term separation that often comes with military assignments. That's why military homecomings are something special.

Evan Carraghan clutched his homemade "Welcome Home" sign and checked on the balloon bouquet. He joined family and friends at the airport, awaiting his dad's happy homecoming.

Evan wrote about his father in a writing assignment with the theme: More than anything else.

"Something that would mean more than anything else to me would be my dad's safety. Why I choose that is because since the terrorist attacks, I want my dad to be safe. You would too.  I'm glad he's coming home October 7th," said Evan, as he read from his school essay.

Nervous faces endured the final minutes of waiting. The Air Tran flight arrived on time.

"There he is! There he is! Yes that's him," said excited family members as the special moment finally arrived.

"How we doing?"

A smiling Major Keith Carraghan quickly made his way to anxious family and friends. He was  finally home after spending the past 15 months in Turkey, doing his part for Operation: Enduring Freedom.

"Yeah, I'm really excited. It's good to have him home," said his 9th grade daughter, Mollie.

"I'm actually quite surprised. But it's great to be here. It's been a long 15 months. But I'm glad to be here and want to thank everybody for supporting what we're doing over there," said Major Carraghan, as he hugged his wife and children.

Leslie Carraghan thanked the kids for helping the family endure.

"They've been incredible. We've had our moments of course. But they really have been so supportive of me. And Evan has taken over as the responsible person and man of the house. And Mollie has been incredible as well," said the proud mom.

The boy whose eloquent essay described his feelings, was pressed for words when dad made it home.

"Hooray," shouted the fourth grader.

That seemed to sum up the moment quite well.