Multiple Naval Deployments Are Not Easy

October 20, 2009 6:03:25 PM PDT
Dozens of Valley fighter pilots who are playing a crucial role in the war in Afghanistan are back home with their families. They returned to the Lemoore Naval Air Station after a six month deployment overseas.On special days like this Courtney Blizzard has her hands full. There's 7-year old Austin, 4-year old Evan and Natalie. She's 21 months.

"Sometimes I wonder if they really get it," said Blizzard.

Their father is a Lt. Commander in the navy. He's been overseas for six months, flying missions that support U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan. This is the 5th time Courtney has waited for her husband's safe return.

Blizzard said, "Sometimes it gets harder because you're like, 'How many more can we do?' but it's good. We're always there for him."

After the ceremonial fly-by the pilots of Strike Fighter Squadron 22 landed. There are 59 other families at N.A.S. Lemoore celebrating too.

All Courtney wants is her children to be with their dad. The children spotted their father after landing. There were lots of hugs.

About 60 pilots and weapons officers are home now at Lemoore. However about 500 of their shipmates have one more day ... they're in San Diego.

Pilots with Carrier Air Wing 14 flew more than 1,600 missions aboard the USS Ronald Reagan. The Lt. Commander said the most important mission now is being with his family.

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