NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Thousands of sailors with the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group are home for the holidays after their ships arrived at Naval Station Norfolk Sunday afternoon.
Bleachers at the naval based were filled with families and friends holding up signs for their loved ones, who were returning home from an eight month deployment.
Jessica Henegar, a mother of three, describes what these past several months have been like for her family, waiting for their loved one to come home.
“I work full time, and all the kids they’re in sports and stuff, so its hard,” she said
Henegar’s son, Julian Valladarez, said, “I just want to spend time with him. I want to hang out him. I want to ask him how it was on the boat and everything.
Six squadrons with Carrier Air Wing One based out of Chambers Field and Naval Air Station Oceana made their way home a bit earlier in the weekend. On Sunday, around 5,000 sailors ready to be home for the holidays pulled into port.
One sailor who made his way off the ship today had something special in mind, as he surprised his little ones at the Navy Exchange on base.
Now that families are back together, looking back on deployment, there is something unique about it they won’t forget.
“The broad range of places we went from the east med to the arctic circle and then we came home for six weeks in the middle of all that for a working port visit,” said Gene Black, commander of the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group.
As for whats next for the sailors?
They will take a bit of a stand down, do some scheduled maintenance and then enter the sustainment phase where they will continue to train.