LEMOORE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Nearly 1,000 sailors deployed to the Western Pacific from the Naval Air Station Lemoore are coming home on Wednesday.
"I have been in the business 22 years, and this is still one of the coolest things we experience. First moms and dads, extended family from the world. It's incredible," said Captain Brent Jaquith, CVW-17 Deputy Commander.
The first plane arrived at the air station in the afternoon with a few of the hundreds of sailors coming home from a 7-month deployment.
"They deployed on the USS Nimitz. They left San Diego and it was a four-week transit to the seventh transit near Japan," Cpt. Jaquith explained.
Shortly after the plane landed, the buses were loaded.
Cpt. Jaquith says getting everyone home is a day-long event where family and friends wait patiently to run toward their loved ones and hug them tightly.
For Cierra Twichel, this was the first deployment she and her husband, Robert, have experienced.
She says it was challenging sometimes, but she felt overjoyed seeing him get off the bus.
"It felt like walking into the coffee shop when we had our first date. The emotions are at an all-time high. I am excited to have him home!" said Cierra.
Brigitte VeNard and her three siblings prepared creative posters to welcome home their dad.
"I am going to run to my dad. I am going to attach myself to Dad," said VeNard.
VeNard says this marks the 4th deployment for their family.
"Each deployment has its own challenge and this deployment is just something we have to deal with. I am just excited for everyone to come home tonight," VeNard said.
Sailors will be arriving home as late as 9 pm.
"You should be really proud of the men and women serving our country today," Cpt. Jaquith said.