One hundred Air National Guard members returned to the state Monday and rushed into the waiting arms of loved ones at the Air National Guard base in East Granby.
The airmen from the 103rd Air Control Squadron, based in Orange, had just wrapped up a long deployment to Southwest Asia and hundreds of people lined up on the tarmac to welcome them back.
There were lots of hugs and tears for the 100 service members who were deployed last November and managed the military aircraft flying in the region.
Now, six months later, their mission is complete and they were homeward bound.
Ryan Walsh, an Air National Guardsmen, from Portland, became a father hours before having to deploy and he reunited with his family Monday.
“I never thought this day would come. He was born the day before I left, so I didn’t get to see him the first night. So it’s great to see him. He’s gotten so big!” Walsh said.
Several more homecomings, with hundreds of more guardsmen from the state, are planned for later this year.