More than 150 Marines were welcomed home on Saturday after a 7-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Organizers began preparing for the troops at 6:00 a.m. Their goal was to finish all the final touches for a homecoming celebration.
The troops are known as the Fox Company 2nd Battalion. They arrived at the U.S. Naval Reserve shortly before 8:00 a.m.
The bone-chilling temperatures didn’t stop family and friends from cheering, holding up signs or waiting out in the cold for the Marines.
Nadia Dias and her family said they’ve waited for this day since her son was deployed 7 months ago.
“I can’t explain it, I’m shaking from head to toe, I’m so grateful to God to have him back home,” said Dias. “I’m so proud of him and I’m definitely the proudest Mom ever.”
Pablo Conde said this is a day that he’s prayed for and is looking forward to the quality time with his mother, father and sister.
“Every day and every night, I was thinking about them,” said Conde. “It’s what kept me pushing and I’m grateful to be reunited with them.”
Family members began waking up at 3:00 a.m. just to travel to meet their loved ones in Plainville.
Kristin Stevens said that her husband has served in the Marines for 9 years.
“Having him away for so long was very challenging,” said Stevens. “I think going through this provides a sense of pride.”
The support for the Marines goes beyond family and friends. There were also service men who said they couldn’t miss the special homecoming.
Bob Beveridge is a Vietnam veteran who wanted to show his support for the troops.
“I knew how it was when we came and I, along with the community, wanted to support and say thank you to the troops for all that they have done,” said Beveridge. “It’s amazing to see the troops reunited with family and friends.”
The Marines will have the next four days off the enjoy their families and enjoy the Veterans Day holiday.