Hundreds of Navy families welcomed home their sailors Monday at the Naval Base San Diego.
The USS John C. Stennis is dropping off its carrier strike group while en route to the ship's home port in Bremerton, Wash.
Seven other San Diego-based ships are mooring on home turf for the first time in seven months, including guard-middle destroyers USS Dewey (DDG 105) and USS Kidd (DDG 100) and guard-missle cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53).
Capt. Thomas Halverson, commanding officer of USS Mobile Bay, became choked up Monday morning when speaking to reporters about pulling into the San Diego Bay. The ship arrived home at 6:30 a.m. when it passed buoy No. 1, he said.
"You see that Point Loma and you know it's real," Halverson said.
A Navy spokesperson estimated about 1500 sailors are coming home to San Diego after this deployment to the Western Pacific. This deployment intercepted Somali pirates and saw the final plane fly over during war efforts in Iraq.
The traditional first kiss from each ship took a twist on the pier outside of USS Mobile Bay. A sailor proposed, and his girlfriend said yes.