NORFOLK, Va (WAVY) – There was no shortage of excitement and patriotism as a big crowd welcomed home sailors on the USS Winston S. Churchill.
The guided missile destroyer had more than 300 sailors on board who were deployed for seven months.
That’s a long time for family members who waited patiently for that first hug and kiss.
“I’m absolutely excited; I cant wait,” said Moraima Velez.
There were a few other firsts.
We met up with three new moms who say they had their babies while their significant others were deployed.
“Crazy, like a lot of emotions and stuff; I can’t wait to have my husband home,” said mother Jaclyn Stackhouse.
“She’s six months old and we’re excited to have daddy home,” said Jamie Guthrie.
Putting their children in their father’s arms for the first time brought on even more emotion.
During the deployment the ship traveled more than 40,000 nautical miles.
“The mission for the Churchill, we were conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation in the 5th and 6th fleet areas of responsibility,” said Commander Tom Van Scoten.
Crews also conducted nearly 20 underway replenishments, 26 sea and anchor details and 600 hours of helicopter operations.