NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — It was a happy homecoming for sailors returning to Norfolk on the USS Gravely on Friday.

Parents, spouses and friends waited with gifts in hand as the shipped rolled in and sailors touched ground for the first time since December.

Chief Petty Officer Marcus Mouzon got a special present as he stepped off the ship: He met his four-month-old son Alexander for the first time.

“At first I was a little afraid he wouldn’t come to me, because it was the first time meeting him, but he reached right out to me, it made me proud,” said Mouzon.

The reunion was on another level for the Mouzon family, who had previously lost a child.

“He was away when our first one passed away,” said Krystele Mouzon. “So that’s what kind of made it a little harder.”

Sailor Cahill Eckardd’s family came in from Nebraska to welcome him home.

“I haven’t seen them since last September, before I left for deployment, and they’re the biggest supporters I have,” said Eckardd.

Eckardd’s mom Kimberly said they kept in touch with Facetime calls — but nothing beats having her son back home.

“It’s so good to be able to hug him in person and know he’s back and home safe.”

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 109) is set to return to Naval Station Norfolk on Friday, June 24, after a regularly scheduled deployment.

Gravely is the first unit to return from the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, which deployed in

While deployed, the ship was employed by U.S. 6th Fleet to defend U.S., Allied and partner interests.

Gravely participated in several NATO exercises and activities with maritime forces from Finland, France,
Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom, highlighting Gravely’s diverse
mission set and capabilities while underscoring the importance of interoperability and operational

Gravely visited Helsinki, Finland, along with dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), French
frigate FS Latouche-Tréville (D646) and German frigate FGS Sachsen (F 219) over Memorial Day
weekend, bolstering relations with a key NATO partner.