US service members welcomed home for Thanksgiving - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

US service members welcomed home for Thanksgiving

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BALTIMORE -

They are home from Afghanistan for Thanksgiving. A plane-load of U.S. military servicemen and women and civilian employees of the U.S. government.

"This is the best Thanksgiving present we could ever have," says Elise Aronson, whose husband John is going home to Alexandria Tuesday night from a year's deployment working in Afghanistan for intelligence community.

"I was in Kabul for year," he says.

A year without the loving embraces of his son, Jack.

"It is a long time," Elise says. "But you know what? We thank God for people like my husband and all the other brave men and women out there doing this amazing work."

Also coming home for Thanksgiving is Bill Kearney. He's a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War now working for the government.

"I'm so happy he's home," says his wife, Jane. "It's been six long months. I survived the Derecho by myself. A hurricane. And I'm just glad my man is back."

Bill says he's happy, too.

"I'm just feel terrific," he says. "I haven't slept in two days, just thinking about getting back and getting back to Jane."

Their flight landed at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport late Tuesday afternoon. They were greeted by members of an organization called Operation Welcome Home.

"Feels good," says Senior Airman Steven Miles of the Air Force Reserves. "There's a lot of love from the people. They appreciate what we're doing. I appreciate them as well for supporting us."

"Been at war for 10 years," says Elise Aronson. "And a lot of people make the sacrifice over and over and over again for us."

"It's stressful," John Aronson explains. "It takes a lot out of you. It takes a lot of patience, but if you have the love and support of your family, it makes it much easier."

The Aronsons are heading home for a complete family Thanksgiving.


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