Mississippi National Guard members, stranded in the northeast after completing their mission in Afghanistan, are finally home.
It was a heart warming welcome for members of the 172nd at Thompson Field whose return to the Magnolia state was delayed by Hurricane Sandy.
A water salute greeted the 172nd Security Forces Squadron as the plane taxied toward awaiting family and friends.
There were tears of joy, hugs and touching reunions after the soldiers filed out of the plane and into the awaiting arms of their loved ones.
The unit was scheduled to arrive Monday but was delayed in Baltimore by the hurricane.
"It's been a long time coming.That's all I've got to say. This is my little brother actually and he's my mini me, and I missed him so much," said Senior Airman Evan Dailey of Louisville.
"He is our oldest child and just the whole experience of him going on the front line fighting for his country has been very very hard for us to endure," said Dailey's mother Paulette.
"Oh it's great to be home. Hurricane sandy wasn't too bad just a lot of wind and rain, just held us up. I'm just glad to be home," said Airman 1st Class Stephen Braswell of Terry.
"I was just in Iraq last year and when I came back from Iraq, he leaves to go to Afghanistan. So I know exactly what he's going through. It's a lot different when your child is over there then when you're over there," said Braswell father Senior Airman Todd Braswell with the 172nd Airlift Wing.
"Words can not describe. It's great to be back...It wasn't that bad. They put us up in a hotel there in Baltimore, held out til the storm was over. It wasn't bad at all," said Tech Sgt. Josh Buckner.
"I was a little disappointed, but it's all a part of life, and we're here now. I'm glad everybody made it home safe," said Tech Sgt. Alonzo Jefferson.
MS Army National Guard Adjutant General Leon Collins said all 26 members of the squadron returned safely.
Their mission was to provide security inside and outside the wire in Bagram, Afghanistan.
The guard members will enjoy down time with their families before returning for drills in the next couple of months.
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