San Diego

Cheers, Tears Greet USS Russell Sailors Home from Deployment

Families and loved ones gathered at Naval Base San Diego to welcome home sailors on USS Russell, a guided missile destroyer home after a 214-day deployment. 

Five-year-old Caleb Guzman was one of the many in the crowd, eagerly waiting to see him dad after months away from home. 

When he sees his father, he knows just what he will do. 

"Hug and kiss him," Caleb said, holding a sign that says 'Daddy! Welcome Home!'

Caleb's mom, Daniella, also counted down the minutes until she could see her husband. There's a new baby in the family that the dad has not seen. 

"I think the first thing I'm going to do is just give him the kids," said Daniella. "After that, hug and kiss him. The first thing, just show him the baby."

More than 300 sailors lined the destroyer as it pulled into the base to cheers and screams of joy. 

Caleb and his brother ran up to their father, Ricardo, screaming and hugging him. 

When his wife handed him his new baby, only three months old, he exclaimed, 'Oh my God.'

He lifted the infant up to the boat to cheers from his fellow sailors. 

"I'm excited," Ricardo said. "I have no words to express how happy I am to see my kids and this new addition to the family." 

The destroyer spent months deployed to the Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Western Pacific supporting the U.S. and other partner nations in Operation Inherent Resolve. The vessel participated in multiple international maritime security exercises. 

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