JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There was a happy homecoming Friday afternoon for families at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.
Dozens of family members were at the base to welcome the Mad Foxes of Patrol Squadron 5 when they returned home after a six-month deployment, mainly in Okinawa, Japan.
"I can't be still. We're excited. I know she's going to be excited," Deaira Suarez said. "Daddy's coming home and we haven't seen him in six months. We have a new baby. He's going to meet her today and we're really excited."
Then Carlos Suarez got to see and hold his newborn for the first time.
"The going away and coming home are such special moments," Deaira Suarez said. "You're thankful. You never know when they'll have to go."
The homecoming was also extra special for another family. It was Lt. j.g. Madi Dulisse's first deployment and it was especially important that Dulisse make it back home on time.
"She got pregnant in January. She's due on Monday," Dulisse said. "We made it, barely."
For everyone, the days and nights apart dragged on until they were reunited with their loved ones.
"This last week, every day got longer and longer. Today was the longest, just waiting for 2 o'clock to get here," Jessica Deuel said.
Wyatt Deuel added, "(It's a) great feeling to be home with my family and here."
The Mad Foxes had a successful deployment. They conducted international exercises in countries that included the Philippines, Guam, Thailand, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Indonesia.
During their Guam mission, the Mad Foxes helped find a family of four adults and three children missing at sea for nearly a week. Crews spent three days searching thousands of miles before the Mad Foxes found the family of seven in good health near Micronesia.