The troops are coming home.
“Waiting for my little brother, Tristan.”
“I’m waiting here for my granddaughter, Emalee Tanner.”
Everyone waiting for someone – a spouse, a sibling, a child. But that wait finally came to an end on Wednesday.
Service men and women from Pocatello’s 660th Ordnance Company of the Army Reserves returned home to the gate city.
There were three waves of flights that brought some of the 660th company home. One in the early afternoon, one in the late afternoon and one at night.
The troops were met with a line of smiles, crowds of hugs and several tears. It was an emotional, long-awaited reunion for both military and their families.
“Today is the best day,” said Jaren and Christiana Larson, who were welcoming home their brother. “Yeah, the best day. We’ve been so excited for so long.”
“It’s just a spectacular day,” said Vicki Williams, who welcomed home her granddaughter.
The Pocatello Regional Airport filled with emotion as family and friends of the 660th welcomed home their heroes.
The POW MIA also welcomed them back by presenting the colors, saluting and reading a short message about all the freedoms we as Americans enjoy because of our soliders.
For some members of the 660th, they were coming home and meeting new family members for the first time.
Specialist Nolan Thorpe had been waiting to meet his baby daughter.
“First time he gets to hold her, hug her and kiss her,” said Thorpe’s wife.
The 660th company was deployed to iraq at the end of November 2017. That 10 months left the families missing something.
“Her and I have always been really close,” Williams said. “I miss her outgoing personality and her hugs and she’s such an enthusiastic girl. It’s been a long 11 months without that.”
Jaren Larson said he just missed having his brother around.
“Really just seeing him I guess,” Jaren Larson said. “Giving him that big brother hug.”
“Yeah, he’s lived with us for awhile so we are used to spending a lot of time with him so it’ll be really nice for him to be home and back in our day to day lives again,” said Christiana Larson.
The military are happy to be home too.
“I am so excited to be home,” said Specialist Emalee Tanner. “It feels so good to finally be back. It’s been so long.”
“I’ve definitely just missed having friends and family close by, having my dog near by, and definitely regular food,” Tanner added.
Tanner said the first thing she wanted to do when she left the airport was to see her dog.
“Anytime we bring a service member home after they’ve been away from their family for an extended amount of time, it’s a good day,” said Hiedi Young, with the Idaho Joint Military Family Programs. “And today is a good day because we have a lot of families in Eastern Idaho that are being reunited.”
Young said there are a handful more service men and women from the 660th who are currently in Fort Hood waiting to find out when they get to fly home too.