MAYPORT, Fla. -- It was the moment dozens of anxious military families have spent months waiting for. "Your heart is beating a million times per minute. It's just exciting to be back. It brings tears to your eyes," said sailor David Blaylock.
About 200 sailors walked off the USS Underwood and into the arms of the ones they love. "I just missed being with him, staying as a family together," said Blaylock's son and daughter.
"Thank God, my son is home," said Donna Parker, the mother of another sailor.
"Just to catch up on time, time lost," said sailor Casey Colding.
These men and women spent the past six months patrolling the oceans. They intercepted more than $27-million-worth of cocaine. And they rescued six stranded fishermen.
But they also missed many milestones. "He went to preschool. And she's in first grade. So he missed the first day of school and my birthday," said Navy wife, Serra Colding.
It's all part of the sacrifice sailors make. "I just want to have a family day together," said Colding.
"I just want to have him home, home every night," said another wife.
Tuesday night they will focus on one of the more important reasons they serve: their families.
The USS Underwood is scheduled to be decommissioned in March.