NORFOLK, Virginia (WPIX)—Christmas arrived five days early for 7,000 sailors and their families. This is the day they came home from war. The USS Harry S. Truman and four support ships dropped anchor at Naval Station Norfolk, ending a seven month deployment in the Persian Group where the strike group played a strategic role in Operation Enduring Freedom.
Thousands of family members crammed onto the pier, many wrapped in blankets to shield the brisk, cold wind. But their cheers ane welcoming cries were heartwarming.
"I love you Daddy," was the colorful message on one placard held by a 10-year old. A woman kept waving her banner that declared, "All I want for Christmas is my Dave."
He soon arrived to a gripping embrace. A mother gasped, "There's my son," as he climbed down the stairs. "I'm so proud of you," she exclaimed through teary eyes as she clutched her son.
It was an emotional experience for an observer to watch such loving scenes played out over and over again. There were thousands of hugs and kisses and torrents of tears. One sailor jumped into the arms of his bride, noting that he'd been at sea longer than the 5 months he had been married.
Another family locked in a warm embrace, shouted joyfully, "This is Christmas." It really was. Watch our coverage of the homecoming on PIX11 News at 10 and join Jill Nicolini and me tomorrow morning on the PIX 11 Morning News. We'll be aboard thenUSS Enterprise with some of our hometown heroes