JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Friday is a special day for more than 20 airmen and women and their families as they arrive home after a six-month deployment to the Middle East.
Joint Base Charleston crews welcomed back the Air Force Reserve Aerial Port members at the Charleston International Airport.
One of the reservists with the 38th Aerial Port Squadron, Samuel LeFlore, is reuniting with his wife Julie and 8-month-old daughter Madison. They
live in Greenville, South Carolina.
"She recognized me, it surprised me a little bit, I was waiting on her not to," Lefore said.
His wife, Julie, is happy to have him home.
"We're very proud of him, he's a very hard worker," she said.
Airman Frank Pennix was welcomed by his family based in Columbia, SC.
He held his 5-month-old son for the first time. Frank Jr. was born while his dad was away in the Middle East.
"Priceless, I can't put into words," Frank said. "I'm still kind of nervous."
Frank's wife, Lanken, says they have the same head.
"He don't have to look at him on the phone, he can actually get to see him in person," Lanken said. "It was a good moment for both of them.
Soon enough, he'll be changing diapers too.
"Yeah not excited about that part, but very soon first one," Frank said.
The airmen and women were deployed to various locations in Southwest Asia where their duties included loading and unloading cargo and managing troop movements in and out the surrounding countries.
"It's awesome, it's awesome, it's always good to come back," Samuel said.
The airmen and women who returned were part of the nearly 100 deployed reservists from both the 38th and 81st Aerial Port Squadrons who will be coming home over the next several weeks.