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Marines Return To Tulsa From Afghanistan

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Twenty-one Marines returned safely to family members Saturday following a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan. Twenty-one Marines returned safely to family members Saturday following a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan.
Small children clutch "welcome home" signs as other stand ready with American flags. Small children clutch "welcome home" signs as other stand ready with American flags.

Emily Baucum, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Twenty-one Marines landed safely on Sooner soil Saturday. They spent seven months supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

The Marines are part of the anti-tank training company in Broken Arrow. Their mission took them halfway around the world. Here at home, some surprises were waiting.

Little kids clutched "Welcome Home" signs and the Patriot Guard stood at attention.

It was a surprise thank-you to 21 Marines including Staff Sgt. John Thurman.

"It feels good. It feels good," he said.

His father, David Thurman, Jr., said, "It feels good to see him back here in Oklahoma, too."

In Broken Arrow, families waited to surprise their loved ones.

"I'm freaking out. I'm real excited," said Jossie Mackey.

"I've got tears bubbling out. They're probably going to spill over," said Angela Mackey.

After months of clutching his dog tags, Jossie finally gets to hold her husband Matthew.

"We have been married a little over a year, and we've only physically been together for two months of that," she said.

The 21-year-old lance corporal described his mission in Afghanistan: "Guarding the base, guarding the generals that were there. Pretty much doing security."

Now he is looking forward to some rest and relaxation, but one more surprise awaited him in the parking lot--a new Chevy Silverado pick-up.

It was a big present from a family grateful for Matthew's service.

His mother, Angela Mackey, said, "Just missing the feeling of him being home and being safe."

"Thanks for the support," Matthew said. "[It] helped out. The prayers. It was all helpful."

With his military tour behind him, Matthew's driving home to Wellston a hero.

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