West Columbia, SC (WLTX) – Monday more than 50 men and women from the 132nd Military Police Company are back home with their families after being deployed for eight months in Afghanistan.
"I think it's been hard on everyone," said Melissa Conner.
Waiting for a loved one to come home after being halfway around the world takes patience.
"He is just waiting, he keeps asking me where is mommy's plane at. I said it hasn't landed yet," said Dale Day.
No matter if you are a three year old waiting to see mommy or a parent desperate to hug their son or daughter, the wait for the 132 MP Company seems longer than the eight months they've been overseas.
The doors could not have been pulled back quick enough for the hundreds of families in the room, but now they can finally exhale now that their loved ones are home.
"It was rough, I talked to him almost every day but being able to home home and see them it feels good. I talked to my brother on the phone and heard him cry but these are tears of joy now so Im more than happy," said Scottie Peay.
Peay's brother Mathew was overwhelmed when he finally got a chance to be reunited with his big brother.
"I had to get to him as fast as I could. I had to be the first one to hug him," said Mathew.
This was Sabrina Day's first deployment and she says she was counting down the days until she could be reunited with her son Cooper.
"I was ready for them to stop talking so that I could get to my baby," said Day.
For others like Montavis Werts he prayed everyday for God to keep them safe.
"God is the answer that's the only thing that got me through. Two deployments back to back, its just God," said Werts.
Peay says the first thing on his to do list isn't sleeping in his bed or eating some of his mothers southern cooking; he's going to hit the road.
"Go get on that Harley man," said Peay.
For every mother, father, sister and brother, they say they are proud of each soldier, because they are fighting so that we can continue to have freedom.
"I know how things are on the other side of the world. I know everyone isn't like us, so that is why they were over there doing what they do, so we can do what we do here," said Dale Day.