Approximately 200 180th Fighter Wing members returned from an Air Expeditionary Force deployment lasting for just over two months. The 180th FW initially deployed to Djibouti, Africa in support of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) to conduct stability operations in the area. At the end of June, members of the AEF were forward deployed to Muwaffaq Sulti AF, Azraq, Jordan, as part of Exercise Eager Lion. Eager Lion is a recurring, multinational exercise designed to strengthen military to military relationships and enhances regional security and stability by responding to modern day scenarios.
Music Playing throughout: Saga Full
Michelle Kusina: “We’re here to meet my son coming back from his deployment. These are all his friends and his dad.”
LaToya Morgan: “It’s been a journey, but with a great family support system we made it through and we’re just excited to welcome home Sergeant C Morgan again and we are just honored to have a family member serve our country and represent us.”
CMSgt DeRaedt: “I just missed all the things that were going on at home. I mean there are so many things, that were happening when you’re gone away for three months. It was just the culmination of all that being missed, it wasn’t anything specifically, it was just missing life. It feels great to be home. I mean the trip was off the hook, the places we went, all the things we did, were incredible. To be able to put all that behind us now and be home with the other families is just spectacular.”
TSgt Bauman: “I think my parents, girlfriend are here. Maybe get some probably pizza the first meal. Pizza, by far. Glad to be home. Wasn’t bad, glad to be home though.”
SOT: Commander Nordhaus and others saying “Welcome Back” as 180th FW members get off the plane.
SrA Espino: “Eat regular food. Eat normal food, pizza, cheeseburgers, this body’s gonna go down the drain.” Laughter.
Heather Birkhahn: “Having him around, hanging out with him.”
SrA Telecsan: “This is summer, so kind of miss being around, going to ballgames, cookouts, stuff like that. Its prime season for that, ready to grill out and stuff like that.”
Heather Birkhahn: “Long. Glad he’s back though.”
SrA Telecsan: “It was a good experience, glad it was only 2 ½ months. It’s good to be back.”
SSgt Fesh: “You get home and you see the backbone of it. It’s so cool. All the family members that, you know they all sacrificed just as well as we did. It was so great to see, more than you expected. It was a bigger turnout then I thought we would have.”
SSgt Fesh: “It’s pretty cool walking through that door, you feel like a celebrity you know, everybody starts cheering for you when you walk in, it’s pretty neat because you get a one track mind when you get off that plane, you’re looking for the people that you know, your family members. To have everyone cheering for you, it’s pretty cool.”
SOT: Woman hugs man: “It’s good to have you home.”
Allyson Keefer: “We’re excited to have you guys back and thank you for serving.”
John Fesh: “To everybody and everybody who served, everybody who’s spent time away from their families, to protect our freedoms, it was also nice to see everybody here as a reception for you guys. It meant a lot for us to see that because it’s important, we know what you guys are doing is serious and it means a lot.
SSgt Fesh: “Thank you.”
John Fesh: “Thank you. Thank you.”
Alma Fesh: “Thanks for serving.”
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This work, 180th Fighter Wing Homecoming 2013, by 2nd Lt. Matt Eck, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.