MCAS Miramar

San Diego Military Families Worried Russia-Ukraine Conflict Would Halt Deployed Loved Ones' Homecoming

About 350 active service members returned from deployment at the Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar

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A group of San Diego military families welcomed their Marines and Sailors home at MCAS Miramar on Monday after a months-long deployment. 

With Russian military aggression in Ukraine escalating, some service members and their families were worried their return trips would be turned around.

“It can be a little bit scary, especially as a servicemember returning from deployment,” said Chris Miller. 

Miller was reunited with his wife Cari and their three kids after an eight-month deployment. His family shared they have been watching the situation with Russia and Ukraine overseas wondering if it would impact his return. 

"You don’t know if they’re going to get a phone call saying, 'Hey, we’re turning around. We gotta go help out," said Cari Miller. 

The Millers are just one of hundreds of military families reuniting this week feeling a similar spectrum of emotions. 

“Happy, emotional, nervous,” said Jessy Avelar Melendez, whose husband Francisco, a Marine, also returned home Monday.  

“It’s kind of crazy what’s going on. We really thought we were going to turn around, but good thing we didn’t. Now I’m home,” said Francisco said. 

Joyful tears and relief were seen on the faces of families throughout the air station. For Mark and Heather Shaw, and their son Mark Jr., they say they get through these uncertain times by taking things one day at a time. 

“I know that if our country would need him, he would be there,” said Heather Shaw. 

They say for today, they’re just focused on cherishing the time they have together. 

“To just do the everyday stuff, those are the things we miss the most,” said Shaw.

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