Thousands of servicemembers returned home to San Diego Wednesday, just in time for the holidays, and reunited families were definitely thankful to be together again.
More than 4,500 Sailors and Marines spent seven months aboard the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, known as the Boxer ARG – far away from their loved ones.
And just one day before Thanksgiving, the servicemembers arrived at Naval Base San Diego for a special holiday homecoming.
“There's really not any words to put -- it's like a feeling that you can't describe. I'm just overjoyed. I'm happy. I'm sad, excited. There's just not a single word to explain it. We're just ready for him to be home,” said Kaitlyn Doyle, who saw her husband for the first time in months Tuesday.
To make the homecoming even more special, it was the first time Doyle's husband, a Navy Seal, met his daughter for the first time.
The servicemembers were deployed to the 7th and 5th Fleet Operating Areas.
As they rejoined their families, some were met with signs, flowers, and sweet cards.
The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit joined the Sailors aboard the Boxer ARG.
The group also included “Blackjacks” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21, Assault Craft Unit 5, Beachmaster Unit 1, Fleet Surgical Team 5, and Tactical Air Control Squadron 11.
The seven-month mission focused on “maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in support of regional security, stability, and the free flow of maritime commerce while operating forward,” according to the Navy.