NewsOn6.com & Dan Bewley, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- The members of the 219th Engineering Installation Squadron based at the Tulsa Air National Guard base in Tulsa returned home Wednesday.
Two different groups arrived at Tulsa International Airport to waiting family and friends.
Tammy and Mike Bro waited for their son, a staff sergeant who's seen his share of the Iraqi desert.
"Trying to hold back the tears," Tammy Bro said.
"He's all about doing his part. We're very proud of him," said Mike Bro.
The families weren't alone. Members of the American Veterans Motorcycle Club joined in the welcome home, each one bearing the American flag to honor their fellow patriots.
"Because back in the day people didn't respect our veterans and they did terrible things to them in the airport. So being a veteran myself, we're here to make sure that doesn't happen again," said Curtis Lyons,
"It's nice to be home," said Master Sergeant Bruce Carson. "I mean, just back with family friends."
Staff Sergeant Jeremiah Bro: "I feel fantastic."
Dan Bewley, News On 6: "Does it feel good to be home?"
Staff Sergeant Jeremiah Bro: "It is good to be home, it's great."
The men and women have been deployed since last spring. They've traveled Iraq and Afghanistan installing infrastructure for communications, copper and fiber optic cables, telephone networks, even antenna poles and towers.
"We worked at a lot of different places and did a lot of different things and got a lot accomplished," Master Sergeant Carson said.
The smiles turned to tears and it all seemed to set in. For these families, this is a Thanksgiving like no other.
Dan Bewley, News On 6: "Have you ever had a Thanksgiving quite like this?"
BJ Carson, Airman's Mother: "No, can't say that I have."
Dan Bewley, News On 6: "Pretty special."
BJ Carson, Airman's Mother: "Yeah."
In all, 31 airmen and women came home Wednesday.
The unit could deploy again, but right now they don't have any plans. Many said they're ready for a hot shower and good meal.