Warm reception for returning heroes

This photo came to us through our iWitness Reports. More than 300 Marines returned to Ellington Field Saturday.

October 1, 2011 8:34:02 PM PDT
After spending most of this year in Afghanistan, 300 local Marines are back home with their families and their homecoming at Ellington Field today was one worthy of heroes.

There is something about a mother waiting the return of her son from war.

"I'm very proud of my son," said Marine mom Romie Juarez. "I'm very excited."

For Juarez, this is the third time her son, Marine Sergeant Richard Juarez, has come home from a long deployment.

"They are there to protect us and keep us safe," she told us.

With balloons and signs, she was ready.

"I can hardly wait till I hug him and kiss him and tell him how proud I am of him," said Juarez.

Juarez was just one of many who'd waited for seven months for the 1st battalion, 23rd Marine regiment, 4th Marine division to come back from Afghanistan.

There was Caylee Johnson, waiting for her husband, Douglas.

"It's like the day we got married; butterflies" said Johnson. "I'm just on a high right now. I don't know what to feel."

And Kimberly Weda, mother of Lance Corporal Sean Weda.

"I never realized how much freedom meant until my son's over there fighting for it," she said.

But after all of the waiting and the anticipation of the day for Romie Juarez and the others, the 123rd was home. And it was glorious for mothers and wives and children.

One brand new father got to see his daughter for the first time.

"She's everything I ever dreamed of," he said. "She's my little girl."

And amidst the reunions, Juarez found her son.

"I said I found him," she said. "You can't express the joy that you feel that they're home."

Houston's Ellington Field is home to eight major U.S. military units.

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