Airmen return home to Charleston after Middle East deployment

Airmen return from duty

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - More than 20 Airmen of the 81st Aerial Port Squadron returned home to a warm welcome at the Charleston International airport Friday after serving 6-month deployments overseas in the Middle East.

"The feeling of coming home is kind of like the last couple of days before Christmas morning," says airman Brian Thomason. "You can't get any sleep. You're on edge. You want to get home and get that day done."

For Thomason, who is returning from his first deployment, that day has finally come.

Others like Joseph Speer, who has been overseas five times, say the tour never gets any easier especially when you have three small children at home.

"It's great to finally be home," says Speer. "I've been missing them for a couple of months and it's good to be back. They've grown up a lot while I've been gone."

The men and women in the 81st were responsible for loading cargo and managing troops moving in and out of the Middle East and surrounding countries.

The group that returned home is only part of 60 other reservists from Charleston who are currently serving overseas.

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