Troops from the 186th Air Refueling Wing's maintenance crew made it back home Monday, after two months of active duty in the Middle East. Families and friends gathered at the base to welcome their heroes.
First Sgt. Tim Dean's family waited patiently to see him, and while they may not know everything he's been through since he left, they know for sure he's been in a desert.
"We're going to have a lot of interesting stories," said Tim's father, Charles Dean.
"He said he wanted a bath to rinse the sand off!" said Helen Dean,
Tim's mother. "So we know he's been in the sand."
And for Sgt. Dean, he said he's just happy to be back. "Glad we're home. It was tough duty and we were real busy," he said. "It was worthwhile and we're glad to be back."
Technical Sgt. John Massey's family also anxiously awaited his arrival. His son, Dalton, said he's very proud of his dad and wants to be like him someday. And that means a lot to his dad.
"I'm going to be in the guard and fly," said Dalton Massey, age 4. "Be one of them airplane pilots," Dalton says.
"I'm proud to be able to serve and I hope he'll be able to do the same thing one day, too," said Sgt. Massey.
Mississippi's Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. James Lipscomb greeted the troops as they got off the plane. Their mission is still classified, but he says they played a large role in the military campaign in Iraq.
"Their mission is classified, but let's just say that they were a big part of Operation Iraqi Freedom," said the general. "That says it all."
And now that their part of the mission is over, these troops are ready to get back to their families and back to normal life.