RI Air National Guard returns home - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

RI Air National Guard returns home

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NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. -

A very emotional day at the Air National Guard Air Base in Quonset today, when after serving overseas for several months, five dozen members of the 143rd Airlift Wing returned home to their waiting families

Helen Sousa was one of those waiting family members, and she talked to NBC 10 while she anxiously awaited for her son; "I can't breathe, I can't breathe, I can't wait to touch his face, then it will be ok, but we're happy this is a great day"

Brand new wife Danielle McLeod can't wait see her husband, telling NBC 10 "I'm nervous, I'm excited, I'm ready, iIve been ready for awhile, just can't wait to have him in the same room as me."

And as they arrived spontaneous applause and cheers herald them.

The newlyweds Danielle and Andrew McCleod, can barely let go. SSGT Andrew McLeod, 143rd Airlift Wing, said he was speechless and happy to be back in Rhode Island

In addition to reunions, there were also some first time encounters, such as Sr. Airman Dalton Spader, 143rd Airlift Wing, seeing his 7 week old son Gavin in person. He described the experience to NBC 10, "thinking about it the entire time I was gone, and now to be here, there's no words for it really."

And just to make the guard members feel right at home, just like so many in Southern New England over the last few days, the snowstorm delayed their travel, their arrival comes a day later than scheduled.

Sr. Airman Jared Sousa described the experience of flying home in the middle of a snowstorm, "the storm put us on a little edge, we've got the best maintenance team and best air crews in the world, we got the job done and all got home safe that's what counts"

They're finally home now and ready to start the new year back with their loved ones.

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