Golden Eagles touch down at Keesler after deployment

Published: Sep. 16, 2012 at 3:15 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2012 at 1:32 PM CDT
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Saturday marked the end of months of anticipation for dozens of South Mississippi families. The 345th Airlift Squadron Golden Eagles returned home to Keesler, after a deployment mission in Afghanistan.

It wasn't an easy task for the families of the Golden Eagles to take on, but they did it. For months they sat by as their loved ones flew into harms way. Fighting for our country in Afghanistan.

"The members of the 345th and the 815th Airlift Squadron. They train each and everyday here at Keesler in the local area for the airlift mission, the tactical airlift mission. Delivering cargo supplies, troops, and the aero medical evacuation. Last May they deployed out to Southeast Asia to actually execute that mission. So it's very exciting to see all that training come to fruition as they executed that mission for our nation," Squadron Commander, Col.. Michael Ramirez said.

The mission was executed masterfully. The Airlift Squadron actually became record breakers, completing the mission with 261 airdrops. On this day it was all about a job well done and safe return home.

"I think that's the best part. We love to get our people back into the squadron and get them back home, but I think more importantly the families can't wait. They have all that anticipation to get their family members back. It's been a long rotation," Ramirez said.

With that in mind, as you can imagine when the moment finally arrived, it was just what their families needed.

Amber Campton and her children were one of the families waiting. She said the moment her husband arrived, it was everything she had hoped for.

"I'm just so happy. I mean it's been four months so it's just like surreal," Campton said.

Jason McBeth stood by waiting on his girlfriend Rachel. For him too the moment was one he won't soon forget.

"It's an excitement. A feeling like no other. It's like having a newborn kid almost. The anticipation of it," McBeath said.